Oscar Niemeyer Awarded Spain’s Order of Arts and Letters Medal


Whenever we’ve heard about him, it’s seemed as though legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer has had a major bummer of a year. “Turning 102 is crap, and there’s nothing to commemorate,” he said just before 2010 began, and it didn’t seem to get much better from there. In April, he was gloomy over the 50th anniversary of his unrealized master plan for the city of Brasilia, Brazil, and a month later, he was back in the hospital again, suffering through an uncomfortable infection. But maybe it will wind up being just the first 3/4 of the year that stunk for him. For his sake, we hope so. The still-practicing architect was just given a medal for the Order of Arts and Letters by the Spanish government for his work designing the still-in-progress Niemeyer Cultural Center in Aviles, Spain. Although, at his age and due to his fear of flying, he was not able to travel to receive the award, the country sent a cultural minister to host the medal-receiving ceremony. So here’s to hoping the rest of the year is this good for Mr. Niemeyer. He deserves it.