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New Genoa bridge will stand for 2,000 years - architect

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Homage: Architect Renzo Piano will design the new Genoa bridge. Photo: Andrea LEONI / AFP / Getty Images

Homage: Architect Renzo Piano will design the new Genoa bridge. Photo: Andrea LEONI / AFP / Getty Images

Homage: Architect Renzo Piano will design the new Genoa bridge. Photo: Andrea LEONI / AFP / Getty Images

Renzo Piano, the architect renowned for designing The Shard in London, is to direct the building of a new bridge in Genoa to replace the one that collapsed in August, causing 43 deaths.

Mr Piano (81), who comes from Genoa, has said he will work for free on the new structure, which will replace the ill-fated Morandi bridge.

"It will last for 2,000 years," he told the 'Corriere della Sera' yesterday.

"Bridges should not collapse. It will need to reunite a city that has been divided and to sustain pride. It will be a homage to the city I love."

The new bridge, which is expected to cost €202m, is scheduled to open in 2020.

"We'll see it built by the end of next year," said Danilo Toninelli, Italy's transport and infrastructure minister.

Mr Piano, who was in the northern port city on the day of the disaster, is regarded as one of the world's most innovative architects.

His projects have included the 'New York Times' Building in New York, the futuristic-looking Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre in New Caledonia and, together with Richard Rogers, the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

The contract to build the new bridge was awarded to a consortium consisting of three Italian construction companies and the new bridge will be illuminated by 43 tall lights placed at regular intervals - one for each victim of the tragedy.

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