Pope greets artists and inmates at Venice Biennale

The Pontiff travelled to Venice to see the Holy See’s pavilion for this yr’s Venice Biennale. It’s a primary for a pope, and has given the sixtieth version of the world’s longest working worldwide artwork exhibit motive.


The Vatican selected to stage its pavilion inside Venice’s girls’s jail, and thru a cope with the Italian Justice Ministry, invited inmates to work alongside the artists. The result’s a multimedia exhibit “With My Eyes,” that’s open to the general public by reservation solely and beneath strict safety circumstances.

The Vatican exhibit has turned the convent-prison into one of many must-see points of interest of this yr’s Biennale, an uncommon artwork world darling that greets guests on the entrance with Maurizio Cattelan’s wall mural of two big filthy toes. The work, titled “Father,” remembers Caravaggio’s soiled toes or the toes that Francis washes every year in a Holy Thursday ritual that he routinely performs on prisoners.

Greeting the prisoners, the Pope remarked: “Allow us to not overlook that all of us have errors to be forgiven for and wounds to heal, I too, and that we will all turn into healed who carry therapeutic, forgiven who carry forgiveness, reborn who carry rebirth”. The inmates donated to Bergoglio merchandise that they make within the jail laboratories, together with pure soaps and a brand new white skullcap, which the Pope instantly placed on.

After that encounter, Francis heads by boat throughout the Giudecca Canal to Venice’s iconic Santa Maria della Salute basilica to satisfy with younger folks. Then he’s pushed by golf cart over a pontoon bridge laid throughout the Grand Canal for the event to Piazza San Marco, the place he celebrates Mass within the shadow of the town’s spectacular Byzantine basilica.

Francis’ dizzying morning go to, which can finish earlier than lunchtime, represents an more and more uncommon outing for the 87-year-old pontiff, who has been hobbled by well being and mobility issues which have dominated out any international journeys up to now this yr.

Nevertheless it’s additionally uncommon as a result of it comes as Venice, sinking beneath rising sea ranges and weighed down by the affect of over tourism, is within the opening days of an experiment to attempt to restrict the form of day journeys that Francis is endeavor.

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