RIO DE JANEIRO (AP).- Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer has received one of Spain's top awards for the arts.
Niemeyer was given a medal for the Order of Arts and Letters award, created in 2008 to recognize people or institutions that help Spanish culture flourish.
American singer Joan Baez received the award earlier this year.
The 102-year-old Niemeyer was tabbed for the award last year, but due to his health, he could not travel to Spain to accept it.
Instead, Spanish Culture Minister Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde traveled to Rio de Janeiro to deliver it to him Friday.
The award cited in particular the architect's design of the Niemeyer Cultural Center in the Spanish city of Aviles, his largest project in Europe.
His buildings are often characterized by being spacious and exposed, mixing volumes and empty space to create unconventional patterns and often propped up by pilotis. Both lauded and criticized for being a "sculptor of monuments", he has been praised for being a great artist and one of the greatest architects of his generation by his supporters. His works include public buildings designed for the city of Brasília, and the United Nations Headquarters in New York City (with others).
Oscar keeps working every day at his office in Rio de Janeiro, with on going projects in Brazil and Spain. His secret is how passionate he is about architecture and women, and he has devoted his life to both.
Last year, when Oscar Niemeyer celebrated his 102nd birthday. He celebrated it with family and friends. He said to AFP 'turning 102 is crap.'
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. With information from wikipedia.org