Pierre Cardin

Venice is sharply divided over plans by Pierre Cardin, the 90 year old Designer, to build a futuristic, Dubai-style skyscraper which critics say will impinge on the city’s historic skyline of cupolas, bell towers and church spires.
The 90-year-old designer, who emigrated to France from the Veneto region as a young man, wants to build the 800ft-tall, 1.5 billion euro (£1.25 billion)

Palais de Lumiere or Palace of Light tower in Porto Marghera, a blighted former industrial zone a few miles from Venice proper.

Opponents say its height and unusual design – three shard-like towers connected by six interlocking, horizontal discs – will make it visible from the heart of the World Heritage-listed lagoon city.

The 60-storey, glass and steel building will be double the height of the famous bell tower in St Mark’s Square – the symbol of Venice – and critics say it is more suited to the Emirates than “La Serenissima” as the lagoon city is known from its heyday as a trading republic.

But the project will provide jobs for thousands of people in Porto Marghera, a grimy former industrial area which has been badly hit by the closure of the chemical plants and oil refineries that one sustained it.

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