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Architecture fraternity mourns Luo's death

By Zhang Zixuan (China Daily)

09:05, May 22, 2012

The great ancient architecture scholar Luo Zhewen passed away at age 88 on May 14 in Beijing. Photo provided to China Daily

China lost a great ancient architecture scholar, Luo Zhewen, who passed away at age 88 on May 14 in Beijing.

"Luo has devoted his whole life to China's cultural heritage protection," says 90-year-old renowned ancient architecture expert Xie Chensheng, who joins the architecture fraternity of China to mourn the loss of Luo.

"Luo's two major contributions are research and repair of the Great Wall, and the preservation of historical and cultural cities," says Xie, Luo's comrade-in-arms.

Both have been hailed as "saviors" of China's cultural and historical heritage for their contributions. In fact, just three years ago, the duo was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of Chinese Cultural Heritage Protection by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.

Born in 1924 to a farmer's family in Yibin, Sichuan province, Luo started his lifetime interest in ancient architecture at 16, under the mentorship of Chinese master architect Liang Sicheng (1901-72).

At 22 years old, Luo moved to Beijing to assist Liang, who was appointed the director of Architecture Department of Tsinghua University. Luo always considers himself blessed to be under the tutelage of Liang, who has given him a thorough and solid foundation in architecture.

"He taught me everything, even trivial things like sharpening a pencil and using an eraser," Luo once wrote in an article. Even his working name, "Zhewen", was given by Liang, he said.

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