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Resurrection statue. Vatican
September 5, 2022, 3:22 PM admin

WOW. What’s that sculpture behind the Pope

  • It weighs 80 metric tons
  • It’s made of bronze
  • It measures 66ft X 23ft X 10ft

It’s called The Resurrection

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It’s made of bronze/copper alloy. It weighs 80 metric tons.

It measures 66 ft × 23 ft × 10 ft (20.1 m × 7.0 m × 3.0 m).

It depicts Jesus rising from a nuclear crater in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The wilted bronze colouring creates a feeling of sickness and decay while the misshapen knots around Christ’s feet evoke images of dismembered hands and skulls.

It’s called The Resurrection (La Resurrezione).

It appears behind the Pope in the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican.

Pericle Fazzini

It is the work of Pericle Fazzini.

It was commissioned by Count Galeassi in 1965 when the world was facing the threat of all-out nuclear war.

Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council only days before the Cuban Missile Crisis began. His relatively brief papacy was marked with impassioned statements against the use of nuclear weapons, including a call for peace over the radio to the U.S. and Soviet Union on Oct. 25, 1962.

“With your hand on your conscience may each one hear the anguished cry which is raised to the skies from all parts of the earth, from the innocent children to the elderly, from the people of the communities: Peace, peace!” Pope John XXIII famously said.

It was only a few months later that he issued the encyclical “Pacem in Terris,” which expressly condemned the use and possession of nuclear bombs.

“Hence justice, right reason, and the recognition of man’s dignity cry out insistently for a cessation to the arms race. The stock-piles of armaments which have been built up in various countries must be reduced all round and simultaneously by the parties concerned. Nuclear weapons must be banned,” he wrote.

John XXIII’s successor, Pope Paul VI, commissioned the sculpture. The commission, however, was under debate for seven years, according to the Vatican Museum’s website. It only became official after the Pope’s “personal intervention.”

Casting for the sculpture began at the Michelucci Art Foundry in Pistoia in 1972. The final sketch was produced in 1975. The work was finally completed and inaugurated on September 28, 1977.

The original design was made out of polystyrene, which Fazzini moulded into shape with the aid of a blow-torch, which produced so much gas and fumes that he ended up by being treated for a blood clot.

Three years after the sculpture’s completion, a group of Catholic activists called the Plowshares Eight entered a General Electric factory in King of Prussia, Pa., to protest the company’s work on nuclear weapons.

They poured blood on parts for nuclear warheads and damaged them with hammers. All were arrested quickly.

Karl Kabat

Carl Kabat, O.M.I., who passed away earlier this month, was a member of that original group. He said he took his calling for civil disobedience straight from the Bible.

“Christ broke the law. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and took charge of the temple. He cured on the Sabbath, He plucked grain on the Sabbath,” Father Kabat said.

The Plowshares movement has grown into a network of protestors, Catholic and non-Catholic, fighting the allocation of funds for weapons of mass destruction rather than care of the poor. They take their name Isaiah’s call for nations to “beat their swords into plowshares” for food production (Is 2:4).

“When the state puts such resources into weapons of destruction, it’s a healthy thing for Christians to be in trouble with the state,” Father Kabat said from a jail cell in 1979.

Martha Hennessey

Civil disobedience has remained the primary weapon used by the anti-nuclear movement. Martha Hennessy, anti-nuclear activist and granddaughter of Dorothy Day, spent five months in federal prison from December 2020 to May 2021 for participation in a Plowshares protest in Kings Bay, N.Y.

“We are not to commit murder, never mind mass murder with these modern weapons. And the promotion of peace is certainly part of what we are called to do,” she said.

The sculpture acts as a reminder of 80-year history of Catholic responses to the threat of nuclear war.

Ms. Hennessy said that the public has grown used to the existence of nuclear weapons, and she fears that many have become apathetic to it.

“I do believe that the rhetoric and the language now is trying to soften us up for accepting limited nuclear engagement, which is all a fallacy,” she said. “It's all, as Dorothy called it, psychological warfare.”

She said she feels “conflicted” over the imagery of Fazzini’s sculpture, wondering whether it makes us more aware of the horrors of nuclear annihilation or actually desensitizes us.

In her official 2018 court declaration, Ms. Hennessy quoted extensively from the “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,” the Gospels and various documents by Pope Francis. She said she believes that church teachings are quite clear in their zero-tolerance for nuclear weapons and the military-industrial complex.

Today being situated as it is at the most prominent place in Paul VI Audience Hall, people see the sculpture as a way to remind the audience that as Christians, they should not fear the second coming of Jesus Christ. Instead, they should be aware that their pilgrimage and faith in this world is a continuous Advent. It lifts them up to reach the definitive encounter with Jesus Christ.

Indeed, The Resurrection, they say, mirrors the fatalistic touch that surrounds all thought of the second coming of Jesus Christ. When Christians think of the Second Coming of Christ, there is something awe-inspiring about this event.

As far as nuclear weapons are concerned, Pope Francis affirmed as recently as June of this year that “the use of nuclear weapons, as well as their mere possession, is immoral.”

Details

https://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2022/08/29/fazzini-resurrection-sculture-vatican-243642?utm_source=piano&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2928&pnespid=r6FjVToWZLpC2.zf_DTtA5KM7wOgWMJtNrShwPA1qhNmQ9dwhJ5K4JgGZvo.JhCa2diiS8qXWg

                                                                      

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