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New lifetime Italian senators include maestro Abbado, architect Piano and physicist Rubbia

Four Italians, including a Nobel Prize-winning scientist and a world-renowned architect, have been named senators-for-life, one of the country's top honors.

President Giorgio Napolitano's office on Friday said he conferred the honor on orchestra conductor Claudio Abbado, architect Renzo Piano and on two scientists, Carlo Rubbia, a Nobel -winning physicist and Elena Cattaneo, a noted researcher on brain stem cells.

Senators-for-life have voting rights in Parliament's upper house and do not have to stand for election.