Silvio Gazzaniga, the sculptor who designed the FIFA World Cup trophy, passed away today in his home city of Milan, Italy, at the age of 95.
According to a statement by his son, Giorgio, Gazzaniga died in his sleep at home in Milan, on Monday 30th October, 2016.
“He just didn’t wake up this morning. It was a peaceful death,” Giorgio Gazzaniga told The Associated Press on Monday, adding that his father had been in the hospital recently for a series of minor ailments.
Gazzaniga designed and created the World Cup trophy in 1971 after Brazil retained the right to keep the Jules Rimet trophy by winning its third World Cup in 1970.
“It’s with great sadness that I learned of the death of Silvio Gazzaniga,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said. “He was the creator of a trophy, which is the most beautiful emblem that FIFA could dream of having as a prize. The World Cup is a mythic object for the players and for all football lovers. We will be eternally grateful, I express my condolences by joining the pain of the family.”
Unlike the Jules Rimet trophy, the original FIFA World Cup Trophy remains permanently in FIFA’s possession.
FIFA received 53 proposals from seven different countries for a new trophy, before opting for Gazzaniga’s design.
“I designed it to reward heroism,” Silvio Gazzaniga said in a 2002 interview with The Associated Press. “But not superhuman heroism. It’s not a conventional cup.”
Silvio Gazzaniga also designed the UEFA Cup, European Super Cup and many other international trophies.