The Vatican has placed a “QR code” in front of the sculpture “Angels Unawares” in St. Peter’s Square, the Migrants and Refugees section of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development announced in a statement on Dec. 29, 2021. The installation will allow pilgrims and the faithful to access additional information about the artwork and Pope Francis’ statements regarding the migrants and refugees.
Unveiled in September 2019 on the 105th World Day of the Migrant and Refugee, the sculpture depicts refugees and migrants from around the world on a boat, with a pair of angel wings protruding from the middle of the crowd. Done by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz, the name of the work is inspired by verse 13:2 of the Letter to the Hebrews: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
By scanning the QR code placed on a plaque next to the statue, visitors will be able to access a website available in six languages that explains the purpose of the work as well as offers to browse Pope Francis’ teachings and encouragement in relation to migrants.
“We decided to combine cultural information and the teachings of the Church over the past few years, to help visitors go from being tourists to being pilgrims at the Vatican,” said Cardinal Michael Czerny, undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section.
Sculptor Timothy Schmalz has done several religious works that are in Rome, including the “Homeless Jesus” that was placed in front of the Apostolic Chaplaincy offices in 2016.