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Renzo Piano named senator for life by Italian president

Renzo Piano, architect of the Shard at London Bridge, has been appointed to the Italian senate.

Renzo Piano

Piano is one of four new independent senators appointed by Italian president Giorgio Napolitano.

The 75-year-old architect will now have voting rights in the upper house of the Italian parliament.

Piano sketched his first designs for the Shard on a napkin in a Berlin restaurant 13 years ago.

In 2006, Piano explained his love for Southwark in a 'sermon' preached from the pulpit of Southwark Cathedral.

Earlier this year Piano told the BBC that he believed that the 29.95 admission price to the Shard's viewing galleries was "too expensive".

Last month Shard developer Irvine Sellar revealed that he had commissioned Piano to design two new residential buildings at London Bridge.

According to an application lodged with Southwark Council, the new towers could be up to 108 metres tall, the same height as the Millbank Tower.

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