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Social media pays tribute to Louvre pyramid architect who died age 102

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Architect I.M. Pei stands in front of the Louvre
Architect I.M. Pei stands in front of the Louvre -
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Associated Press - Barry, Sinead
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Social media users have been paying tribute to the "visionary architect" behind the pyramid at Paris' Louvre who died aged 102 on Thursday.

The museum's president, Jean-Luc Martinez, expressed sadness at the passing of Ieoh Ming Pei.

He said Pei was a "visionary architect with an exceptionally long and rich career" and that his death "will have a lasting impact on the museum".

Former French culture minister, Jack Lang, who was in office when the pyramid was designed, remembered Pei as "an extraordinary gentleman".

Admirers of Pei's work took to social media on Friday to pay tribute to the architect and his work. One Twitter user described his creation as "a pyramid of changing moods, the mood of Paris, the colour of water and time."

The choice of Pei as the architect for the Louvre's grand renovation in the eighties proved controversial at the time as he was not a French national.

Lang observed, however, that the Chinese-American earned respect "because he himself was very respectful of the history of the country".

The Louvre, one of the most famous museums in the world, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It said the anniversary celebrations would be an apt opportunity to pay tribute to Pei.

Pei's legacy extends beyond the Louvre, however, and other admirers have shared images of their favourite works by the architect, including the Bank of China in Hong Kong, or Place Ville Marie in Montreal, Canada.

Pei said for him, architecture "can reach a level where it influences people to want to do something more with their lives.”

Pei's work spans not only the globe but the limits of architecture itself. His creations range from the National Center of Atmospheric Research in Colorado, USA, to the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar, the Macau Science Centre in China, to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, USA.