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Exhibit uncovers the hidden reason behind Rome's Baroque designs

2014-07-06

Piazza Navona nests at the heart of the Eternal City. Each day thousands of visitors wander through its open spaces, but few know it was built as a celebration of the Catholic faith.

That's the purpose behind many places like it, spread across Baroque Rome.

MARIA GRAZIA BERNARDINI
"The Popes of Hope”
"Since the late 1500's and the early 1600's, art was at the service of the Church and the papacy, to communicate its new message of hope and the triumph of its creed. Because in the 16th Century, there had been this tough struggle against heresy, against the Luther's Protestant reforms.”

The exhibit titled "The Popes of Hope,” shows the importance that this type of defense of the faith had on the streets of Rome.

Visitors will uncover how the Church celebrated a Jubilee in the 17th Century, or read "pilgrim guides” that were published in those times.

MARIA GRAZIA BERNARDINI
"The Popes of Hope”
"We have on display a series of fliers and brochures that teach pilgrims how to pray and how to obtain an indulgence. But not just that, they also give indications of where they can sleep, where to eat and where to find first aid.”

The exhibit employs some 100 works to show how the Catholic Church shaped Rome, and how the Roman saints influenced the Church.

In addition, they put a face to the Popes and cardinals that crafted Rome into the Eternal City.


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