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Vatican Museum launches exhibit with 80,000 ancient artifacts

FR. NICOLA MAPELLI ;

Director, Missionary-Ethnological Museum (Vatican) ;

“For us it is important that these artifacts become cultural ambassadors. That we make them speak to us and retell the stories of their civilizations.” ;

Among the artifacts on display are these handcrafted aboriginal poles from the 1920?s. They are known as “Pukumani” and are used to guide souls on their way to paradise. The exhibit also features antique boomerangs, warrior statues from Mississippi tribes, and even these masks which belonged to Alacaluf tribes from southern Chile. ;

But without a doubt, one of the crown jewels of the exhibit, is a figure representing an ancient goddess from Mexico?s pre-Hispanic era. ;

FR. NICOLA MAPELLI ;

Director, Missionary-Ethnological Museum (Vatican) ;

“We?ve placed in the center of the exhibition the Quetzalcoatl statue. This Aztec deity is very important. We?ve worked with academics, architects and Mexican experts to give it the value it deserves.” ;

To give its collection more notoriety, the Museum launched a catalog to point out not just its exhibits, but also the historical context the displays reflect. ;

KATHERINE AIGNER ;

Co-author, Ethnos: Le colezzioni etnologiche dei Musei Vaticani ;

“Not many people know about the Ethnological Museum at the Vatican City, so now hopefully a lot of people will come and it?s an opportunity to learn about the cultures around the world because the collection here is very rich and it?s a wonderful way to introduce the collection with the catalog.” ;

The Museum directors say that the biggest challenge they have had is tracking down who donated each item. The say their hard work will help give these ancient civilizations a voice and a place in history, which will never to be forgotten. ;

OFL @odelafu /RCarr ;

AA ;

JM

-PR

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