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St. Louis Historical Museum to Host Vatican Collection
Votive Plaque from the Tomb of Saint Peter, 6th-7th century, Gold. The Reverenda Fabbrica of Saint Peter, Vatican City State.
ST. LOUIS (AP).- One of the largest collections of art, documents and historically significant objects from the Vatican ever to tour North America is coming to the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis for a limited engagement beginning May 15, 2010. “Vatican Splendors: A Journey through Faith and Art” will present unique objects illustrating the Vatican’s impact on history and culture through 2,000 years.

Approximately 170 objects will be presented in galleries and recreated environments that enhance the visitor’s understanding of their historical and artistic significance. Items in the collection – which include mosaics; frescoes; paintings by Renaissance masters; works by well-known sculptors; intricately embroidered silk vestments; precious objects from the Papal Mass; uniforms of the Papal Swiss Guard; historical maps and documents and relics – are on loan from The Reverenda Fabbrica of Saint Peter, the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls, the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, the Vatican Library, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Apostolic Floreria, the Papal Swiss Guard, and private collections.

Highlights of the exhibition include artwork by Michelangelo, signed documents and personal objects such as his drawing caliper, and tools used in work on the Sistine Chapel and Basilica of Saint Peter’s; works by masters including Bernini and Giotto; objects dating back to the first century; venerated relics (bone fragments) of Saint Peter and Saint Paul; the first geographical map of Australia; objects discovered at the tombs of Saint Peter and Saint Paul; and historical objects from the modern and ancient basilicas of Saint Peter’s in Rome.

The exhibition will only appear in three North American cities, after which the items must return to the Vatican, from which they cannot be absent for more than a year.

All descriptive labels in the exhibit are bilingual in English and Spanish, as is an audio tour, available for an additional charge.

Tickets for “Vatican Splendors: A Journey through Faith and Art” can be purchased online beginning April 19.

Missouri History Museum | Vatican Splendors | Unique Objects |


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