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Pope to meet with contemporary artists in the Sistine Chapel

2009-09-11

That’s why the pope has invited some of the most talented artists in the world to meet with him in the Sistine Chapel in November.

Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi
President, Pontifical Council for Culture

“This meeting is  meant to show how art, by its very nature, has a spiritual dimension to it, too.”

Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi says the dialogue between art and faith is waning, and this meeting is a way to help bridge an important gap between both.

Mons. Gianfranco Ravasi
President, Pontifical Council for Culture
"Contemporary art has gone its own way. It’s sometimes very stylistic or provocative, it encloses itself in its own genre, it’s sometimes unclear. And on the other hand you have religion and these churches that are decorated with beautiful art".

Antonio Paolucci
Director, Vatican Museums
"I think the Church has a fundamental obligation to re-establish dialogue with today’s artists".

Director of the Vatican Museums Antonio Paolucci, says that throughout the 20th century, the popes have been instrumental in bridging this gap.

Antonio Paolucci
Director, Vatican Museums
“The popes of the 20th century like Pius XII, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who’s an intellectual, a philosopher and a theologian. These popes wanted to re-establish this dialogue with contemporary artists.”

Some 500 sculptors, musicians, painters and actors from all over the world have been invited for the meeting with the pope.

Dialoguing with artists is something not uncommon for the popes of the 20th century. In 1964, Paul VI held a similar meeting with artist in the Sistine Chapel. And in 1999, John Paul II wrote a letter to artists where he expressed his esteem for them and his desire to renew dialogue between faith and art.

RS