The Italian prime minister has led tributes to author Umberto Eco who has died at the age of 84.
Matteo Renzi told local media that Eco’s death is a huge loss for culture .. which he said will miss his writing and his voice, sharp and vivid thought and his humanity.”
An accomplished scholar, Eco was nearly 50 when his first novel,“The Name of the Rose’, became a best-seller.
Published in 1980, the medieval murder mystery set in an Italian monastery has been translated into more than 40 languages. It was made into a film starring Sean Connery and Christian Slater.
British daily The Guardian hailed Eco as “one of the world’s most revered literary names”.
In an interview with the paper last year, he said that his approach to writing was to seek to “change” the reader.
Media reports say Umberto Eco died at his home and had been suffering from cancer for some time.
He leaves a wife, a German art teacher who he married in 1962 and with whom he had a son and a daughter.