Italian-born French designer Pierre Cardin is being honored by his native Veneto region for his artistic achievements and his ambitious plan to build a glass skyscraper to revitalize Venice's industrial port.
Cardin said by phone Monday that he intends his "Palace of Light" to be a "livable sculpture." He expects final approval shortly for the project that will house a fashion university, luxury hotels and shops.
Cardin, who turned 90 in July, was born Pietro Cardin north of Venice and moved to France as a child. He described himself "as a true Italian, even if I live in Paris. Without Paris, there would be no Pierre Cardin."
The Lion of Veneto award is being presented Monday with a ceremony and concert at Venice's La Fenice opera house.