Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 22 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Ndoc Suma
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

St. Peter’s Square Restorations to Be Completed for Easter, Canonizations

Hatters!

Catholic News Agency - published on 03/04/14

The intensive project was begun in November 2008, and included restoration of 284 columns, 140 statues, and 44,000 cubic meters of travertine.

The restoration of the Bernini colonnade and other historic pieces in St. Peter’s Square will be finished by Easter, in time for the canonizations of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII.

According to an article in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano by Vatican Museums director, Prof. Antonio Paolucci, “the time schedule…provided for the completion of the construction in time for Easter of 2014 and for the great spring canonizations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, events that will bring millions of pilgrims to Rome, was observed even in advance.”

The intensive project was begun in November 2008, and included restoration of 284 columns, 140 statues, and 44,000 cubic meters of travertine.

Paolucci, who oversaw the project, noted that in addition to cleaning all the surfaces, the restoration secured many elements of the construction that were “disjointed and in most cases unsafe.”

Designed and built by Gian Lorenzo Bernini from 1656-1673 for Pope Alexander VII, the colonnades that encircle St. Peter’s Square are intended to symbolize the universal embracing arms of the Catholic Church.

“It is an architectural structure that multiplies the vanishing points, and then the perspective effects, so that those who enter St. Peter's Square have the impression of being inside a forest of columns that embraces you from all sides without defining its borders,” explained Paolucci.

The saint statues atop the colonnade include various men and women founders, doctors, martyrs, confessors and virgins.

“They are the heavenly army of the Catholic Church, representing the eternal and triumphant Christianity that participates in the joy and faith of the people when the Pope of Rome gathers them in the square dedicated to the Prince of the Apostles.”

Paolucci noted that the travertine sculptures set against the backdrop of the Roman sky “change color according to the hours and seasons.”

This kind of dramatic effect was intended by Bernini, who saw the project as an opportunity to build the “great theatre of the colonnade” that would have “high symbolic value” and evoke “extraordinary emotional involvement.”

The years-long project has aimed to restore the edifice to its original grandeur.

Recent renovations, which include work on the two fountains in the square, have cost about 14 million Euro. According to a 2011 article in L’Osservatore Romano, Mr. Pier Carol Cuscianna, Director of Technical Services at the Governorate of the Vatican City State, which oversaw the work, said that the project was “undertaken thanks to generous sponsors and to Divine Providence.” In 2012, the Vatican issued a limited edition of papal stamps to raise revenue for the work.

Courtesy of Catholic News Agency

Tags:
ArtCatholicismEaster
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
KIDS,WATERMELON,BEACH
Cerith Gardiner
New study shows that these 2 childhood habits make you a happier ...
2
EUCHARIST
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
3
HEART OF JESUS
Bret Thoman, OFS
“Jesus, you take care of it”: Prayer of a priest Padr...
4
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
6
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
7
ANXIETY
Philip Kosloski
Catholic prayers for anxiety
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.