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Guarani sculptures reflect the European influence in Uruguay

2014-11-02

The indigenous missionaries from the Society of Jesus arrived to Uruguay's current territory in the 17th century. They were the first new Christians evangelized by European missionaries. They left behind a valuable legacy that today allows us to discover the influence the missionaries had on the South American nation.

Through wooden sculptures and archeological objects, the "Uruguay in Guarani” exhibit offers a pathway through the country's culture.

FR. NICOLA MAPELLI
Ethnological Collections – Vatican Museums
"The Guarani sculpted these wooden sculptures using paintings brought from Europe by Jesuits as examples. It is interesting to highlight that there are sculptures of the Virgin Mary, of Saint Anthony, Saint Nicholas of Bari and Saint Charles.”

An example of the European influence over the indigenous missionaries can be seen in the eyes of this image of the Virgin Mary. They are blue, an unusual color among the Guarani.

It is the first time these pieces travel to Europe. The Vatican Museums are hosting this unique display. 

FR. NICOLA MAPELLI
Ethnological Collections – Vatican Museums
"The Vatican Museums are very important to the world. More than 5 million people pass through here every year to see the masterpieces by Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael. That this collection is here is a way to give importance to the Guarani people and their culture.”

After the Vatican Museums, the collection will travel in the following months to Hamburg, Germany and to Valencia, Spain to spread knowledge about the roots that America and Europe share.


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