The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, June 18, 2018

Rio bids final farewell to star architect Niemeyer with national tribute worthy of a head of state
Relatives of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer attend the funeral at the City Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on December 7, 2012. Niemeyer, the Brazilian icon who revolutionized modern architecture and designed much of the country's futuristic capital Brasilia, died in Rio de Janeiro Wednesday at 104.AFP PHOTO /VANDERLEI ALMEIDA.

By Laura Bonilla and Claire de Oliveira

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP).- Rio bade a last farewell to Brazil's iconic architect Oscar Niemeyer Friday ahead of his burial in his native city whose spectacular landscape inspired his creative genius.

Top officials, relatives, friends and ordinary people thronged City Hall where the star architect, who died Wednesday at the age of 104, lay in state inside a casket draped in the green and yellow Brazilian flag.

It was an emotional affair, but in marked contrast with Thursday's solemn memorial service in the Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia, the futuristic capital Niemeyer helped created.

There, President Dilma Rousseff led members of her government, lawmakers, Supreme Court judges and diplomats in a national tribute, worthy of a head of state, to the man whose soaring architecture captured the essence of Brazil.

Inaugurating a Brasilia summit of leaders of the Mercosur regional trade bloc Friday, Rousseff quoted one of Niemeyer's sayings: "We have to dream or things don't happen."

"His works reflected Rio's landscape and curves," renowned Brazilian architect Jaime Lerner told AFP as he left the Rio City Hall.

"Niemeyer was one of the greatest Brazilians of all times. Now I am sure he will redesign the Milky Way," he added.

Pedro Castilho, a 78-year-old engineer, came to bid farewell to a fellow diehard communist he had never met but whom he revered.

"Niemeyer was always a dreamer as I am. He dreamed of ending global poverty, of a better world. He was a great communist," he added.

And 82-year-old Ferreira Gullar could not hold back tears as he paid his last respects and expressed his sympathy to Niemeyer's widow, Vera Lucia Cabrera, seated in front of a dozen flower wreaths.

"There was poetry in his architecture. He introduced not only curves but also lightness," Gullar told reporters, recalling that he wrote a poem titled "Architecture lesson" with Niemeyer in mind.

Ana Maria da Silva, a 62-year-old domestic worker, came with her six-year-old adopted son Richard.

"He was doing a project on Niemeyer in school and wanted to know him. He told me that Niemeyer was dead but I said I would bring him to see him," she added.

Later Friday, the Brazilian icon was to be buried at the Sao Joao Batista cemetery in Rio's Botafogo district.

Thursday, tributes poured in from around the world, including from fellow winners of the Pritzker prize, the Nobel equivalent for architecture, remembering Niemeyer as a colossus in his field and his flare for wavy, curvaceous structures as a source of inspiration and creativity.

Winner of the Pritzker prize in 1988, Niemeyer started his career in the 1930s and went on working well into the 21st century, after turning 100.

His works can be found in countries as far-flung as Algeria, Italy, Israel, the United States and Cuba, whose longtime revolutionary icon Fidel Castro was one of his personal friends.

One of his most spectacular works was a contemporary art museum created in 1996, when he was already 89 years old.

Located in Niteroi, a town near Rio, it includes a structure shaped like an upturned dish, poised over the ocean on rocky cliffs.

Born in Rio into a middle class family of German, Portuguese and Arab ancestry, Niemeyer created some 400 buildings in all, including the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park, London and the Penang State Mosque in Malaysia.

In 1928, he married Annita Baldo. The marriage lasted 76 years until Annita's death in late 2004. Their only daughter, Anna Maria Niemeyer, died of emphysema in 2009 at the age of 82.

At the age of 98, the star architect got married again, this time to Vera Lucia Cabreira, 38 years younger than him.

The jury that awarded Niemeyer the Pritzker prize wrote: "he captured the essence of Brazil with his architecture. His buildings distilled the colors, light and sensual image of his native country."


© 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse

Oscar Niemeyer | Brazil | Jaime Lerner |

Today's News

December 8, 2012

Archaeologists find Maya ceramics and mural paintings in three underwater caves in Mexico

Fortuny and Wagner:Wagnerism in the visual arts in Italy opens at Palazzo Fortuny in Venice

Discovered: French and Italian archaeologists find the lost port of ancient Rome

Ringling organizes America's first comprehensive Veronese exhibition in two decades

New role for Curator Scott Rothkopf at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York

Rio bids final farewell to star architect Niemeyer with national tribute worthy of a head of state

Flowers Gallery presents a selection of photographs from Edmund Clark's Guantanamo: If The Light Goes Out

Exhibition of recent works by Giovanni Anselmo, Jannis Kounellis, Giuseppe Penone and Emilio Prini at Sprovieri

Peabody Essex Museum appoints Austen Barron Bailly as its first Curator of American Art

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush to lead Philadelphia's National Constitution Center

Dazzling prices in £6m Bonhams Fine Jewellery Sale with over £1m for Van Cleef & Arpels brooch

If you will it, it is not a dream: Yael Bartana opens solo exhibition at Vienna's Secession

Portland Museum of Art breaks records for the month of November with Winslow Homer exhibition

Winchester rifle belonging to "Doc" Carver, partner of Buffalo Bill, to be sold at auction

Alaska reclaims missing moon rocks since 1973

Aargauer Kunsthaus opens survey of current art practices in the Canton of Aargau

Shortlist of The Art India Breakthrough Artist Award at the Skoda Prize announced

Pérez Art Museum Miami capital campaign receives $5 million contribution

Navajo child's blanket leads Bonhams $1.28 million Native American Art Sale in San Francisco

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Related Stories

Architect Oscar Niemeyer, who recreated Brazil's sensuous curves in reinforced concrete, dead at 104

Brazilian Architect Oscar Niemeyer Receives the Order of Arts and Letters Award

101-Year-Old Brazilian Architect Oscar Niemeyer Back at Work

Brazil Architect Niemeyer Undergoes Tumor Removal

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful