Milan planning Versace memorial


MILAN -- The city of Milan will commemorate Gianni Versace on the 10th anniversary of his murder with a series of events in his memory.

Versace, who built his fashion empire from his studio in the center of Milan, was gunned down outside his oceanfront mansion in Miami Beach on July 15, 1997.

Recalling Versace's love of the theater, French choreographer Maurice Bejart has written a two-part ballet titled, "Thank You, Gianni, With Love," to be performed at La Scala.

Other events include an exhibit of Versace's sketches of theater costumes that will be installed on Milan streets this month, and the establishment of a scholarship in his honor at the European Institute of Design, officials said Friday.

"Gianni for me was a great brother, a great man and a great artist," Donatella Versace, sitting alongside her brother, Santo, told a news conference. "He was a genius, who deserved all of this."