Vatican Museums open an exhibition on Pope Paul VI and the artists

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26/10/2014
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With a combination of historic photographs and artworks by artists such as Botero and Matisse, the art exhibition 'Paolo VI e Gli Artisti' showcases the close relationship the newly beatified Pope shared with some of the most acclaimed artists of the 1900s.

ANTONIO PAOLUCCI
Director, Vatican Museums
'We wanted to pay tribute to Pope Paul VI through this exhibition here in Saint Peter's Square on the porch of Carlo Magno. It is an exhibition that collects a series of artworks among the ones that he knew and loved the most. We took them from the Museums and brought them here. By walking through the exhibition, one understand the tastes, culture and sensitivities of Giovanni Battista Montini, Pope Paul VI.�

The artworks displayed in the exhibition come from different collections, including the Ethnological Museum and the Collection of Contemporary Art in the Vatican Museums, which was created by Pope Paul VI in 1973. 

ANTONIO PAOLUCCI
Director, Vatican Museums
'Pope Paul VI was a lover of art. He was a man who knew the modern and contemporary artistic culture. When he became Pope, he resolved to open a dialogue with the artists. As soon as he was elected Pope, he summoned them to the Sistine Chapel. It was May 1964, and he made a beautiful speech about art and the role of the artist. He said the artist is a creator, like God omnipotent, who creates beauty through matter.�

Pope Paul VI was a supporter of a closer relationship between the Church and artists. During his address at the Sistine Chapel, Pope Paul VI  highlighted their ability to help the Church's mission by 'translating its divine message through the language of forms and figures in order to make the invisible world tangible.â?

FRANCESCA BOSCHETTI
Curator, Vatican Museums
'He gave voice and visibility to artists by inviting them directly and apologizing for the distance that had occured in the last two centuries and saying 'let's become friends again and let's recreate an alliance that is historic' because the Sistine Chapel is the primary example of how Popes were in close contact with the contemporary artists, such as Michelangelo was in the 1500s.�

As an example of this close relationship, Pope Paul VI was known for taking artists with him on his trips, including his famous journey to the Holy Land.

The exhibition 'Paolo VI e Gli Artisti' will be on display in St. Peter's Square until November 15, 2014. 

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