|Pope's goldsmith hopes ring will be spared destruction|
Cardinal and Vicar of Rome Agostino Vallini (R) kisses the ring of Pope Benedict XVI during an audience with Rome's parish priests on February 14, 2013 at the Paul VI hall at the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI addresses on Thursday Rome's parish priests, talking about his personal experiences as a young church reformer ahead of his stepping down at the end of the month. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS.
By: Dario Thuburn
ROME (AFP).- The goldsmith who crafted the "Fisherman's Ring" worn by Pope Benedict XVI said he hoped his work would not be destroyed once the pontiff steps down as is customary in Catholic tradition.
"I hope the ring is preserved and exhibited. It is a jewel that has so much symbolic value," Claudio Franchi, a Rome artisan who was commissioned to make the gold ring when the pope was elected in 2005, told AFP in an interview Monday.
Benedict was the first pope since the 19th century to commission a "Fisherman's Ring" -- his predecessor John Paul II wore a simple gold ring with a cross -- and he has worn the chunky gold ring at all his major public appearances.
The ring is so called because it depicts Saint Peter, who was a fisherman by trade, pulling up his net from a boat. The one worn by the current pontiff carries the inscription "Benedictus XVI" -- the pope's official title in Latin.
Benedict referred to it at his first mass as pope in which he was handed the papal pallium -- a type of vestment -- and the ring. He spoke of the Gospel story of Jesus Christ telling his future disciples that he would make them "fishers of men".
Franchi said the ring was placed on St Peter's tomb before the pope first put it on.
The ring has an elliptical shape -- an artistic representation of St Peter's Square, the famous Vatican plaza designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the 17th century.
It has been kissed by world leaders as well as the masses of ordinary Catholics who have met with the pope during his eight-year pontificate, which is coming to an abrupt end on February 28.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said at a briefing last week that the ring would probably be "terminated" in private in the days after the resignation.
The ring contains 1.23 ounces (35 grams) of gold.
Fishermen's Rings once played a critical role in the running of the Church as signet rings used by popes to put their official wax seals on documents.
They were removed from the hand of a dead pope by the Cardinal Camerlengo, the prelate who takes over before a new pope is elected, and destroyed with a hammer so no fake documents could be drawn up in the pope's name.
Others were completely scratched and melted so that they would no longer be valid.
Few of the rings have therefore survived the centuries and Franchi said the only one on in the Vatican Museums belongs to the "antipope" Clement VII who was elected in 1378 by French cardinals opposed to Urban VI in Rome.
Franchi, who is deputy head of the association of Rome goldsmiths, said the commission he received in 2005 had revived a centuries-old relationship between the papacy and local artisans that had created "an artistic flourishing".
The ring "is a symbol of this pontificate," said Franchi, a fan of Benedict who studied art history and comes from a family of goldsmiths.
His workshop "Franchi Argentieri" is just on the other side of the Tiber River from the Vatican.
Asked if he would like to fashion the ring for the next pope, Franchi said: "I would be happy to but it's really not up to me."
© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse
February 21, 2013
Between war and peace: Museum of Luxembourg in Paris presents works by Marc Chagall
The Art Institute honors 100-year relationship between Picasso and Chicago with landmark exhibition
Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills presents Richard Prince's Cowboy paintings
Israel Antiquities Authority: An ancient industrial installation was revealed beneath the asphalt in Yafo
First major exhibition on Pre-Raphaelite Art and Design in United States on view at National Gallery of Art
Russian President Vladimir Putin refuses to return disputed Jewish archive to United States
Exhibition at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston features restored silver and bronze pieces
Exhibition of new paintings by genre-busting painter Doug Argue opens at Edelman Arts
Norton presents Legacy, a comprehensive overview of iconic art collected by Emily Fisher Landau
Walters Art Museum appoints Julia Marciari-Alexander as new Executive Director
Unique artwork of limited-edition labels for wine bottles designed by Michelangelo Pistoletto
Pattern Recognition: Group exhibition at Ana Cristea Gallery brings together four Contemporary artists
Painterly Pasted Pictures curated by E.A. Carmean, Jr. opens at FreedmanArt
After death threats, Swedish artist to paint Mohammed
Margaret Bowland's second New York solo exhibition of paintings opens at Driscoll Babcock
Man arrested in New York Dali heist
Pope's goldsmith hopes ring will be spared destruction
National Pinball Museum hits 'tilt'
Tiancheng International announces its inaugural sale of fine Chinese paintings in Spring 2013
British Spitfire hunter vows to continue Myanmar dig
Govt. Auction to offer fine jewelry, luxury handbags, timepieces Feb. 24
Contemporary sculpture, ceramics, fashion, glass, furniture, and more offer a new twist to age-old imagery
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Ancient erotic frescoes get makeover at the Contemporary Art Museum in Casoria
2.- One million dollar Pablo Picasso painting yours for just $135 in online charity raffle
3.- Robert L. Oswald, Brother of Lee Harvey Oswald Disputes Last Week's Sale of Coffin
4.- Australian psychedelic artist Martin Sharp, who designed posters for Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan, dies
5.- Skull find shows young women were sacrificed in China more than 4,000 years ago
6.- Istanbul monastery, considered the most important of Constantinople, 'to be turned into mosque'
7.- Detroit Institute of Arts statement regarding City of Detroit's eligibility to file for bankruptcy
8.- Christie's sets a new world auction record for a painting by Edward Hopper
9.- Ryan O'Neal defends taking ex-lover's Warhol picture in University of Texas lawsuit
10.- French film and installation artist Laure Prouvost wins Great Britain's Turner prize
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|