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Romanian architect of dictator's giant palace dies

Wednesday - 10/30/2013, 1:51pm  ET

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) -- Anca Petrescu, chief architect of the "Palace of the People" building in Bucharest that has been described as a huge Stalinist wedding cake, has died at age 64.

Petrescu, who had been in a coma after a September car accident, died Wednesday in Floreasca Hospital in the Romanian capital, according to hospital spokesman Dr. Bogdan Oprita.

The building -- the world's second-largest administrative building after the Pentagon -- spans 350,000 square meters (3.77 million square feet) and is the most concrete legacy of Romania's late dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu.

The Romanian parliament and the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center, which fights crime, smuggling and fraud, are housed there.

Appointed the building's chief architect in 1978, Petrescu worked at the unfinished palace until her accident. She told The Associated Press last year that Buckingham Palace in London and the Palace of Versailles outside of Paris were her artistic inspirations for the building, not North Korean architecture as was widely reported.


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