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Pope Benedict XVI hosts artists in Sistine Chapel

November 21, 2009 - VATICAN

Five hundred artists from around the world have been invited by Pope Benedict XVI to tour the Vatican's vast art collection on Nov 20, then join him on Nov 21 in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. The Sistine, popes' own chapel, was erected from 1473-81 and is famous for its frescoes by Michelangelo and other Renaissance masters. It is used by the College of Cardinals for papal elections.

Five hundred artists from around the world have been invited by Pope Benedict XVI to tour the Vatican's vast art collection on Nov 20, then join him on Nov 21 in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. The Sistine, the popes' own chapel, was erected from 1473-81 and is famous for its frescoes by Michelangelo and other Renaissance masters. It is used by the College of Cardinals for papal elections. The aim of the meeting the painters, sculptors, architects, writers and poets, musicians, singers, dancers, directors and actors from cinema and theater is to renew friendship and dialogue between the Church and artists, according to the Vatican. It also aims to encourage new opportunities for collaboration. The Nov 20-21 event celebrates the 10th anniversary of John Paul II's Letter to Artists of 4 Apr 1999, and the 45th anniversary of Paul VI's meeting with artists of 7 May 1964. Popes have been collecting art for the Vatican museums since the Middle Ages. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the founder, newly-elected Pope Julius II della Rovere, placed a statue of Apollo in the internal courtyard of the Belvedere Palace built by Innocent VII in 1503. In 1506 the Laocoon, a marble statue attributed to a group of sculptors in 1st Century Greece, was added to the collection. In the last meeting nearly half a century ago, according to AFP, Pope Paul VI issued a mea culpa for the Church's past treatment of artists. Sep/09

Vatican Museums

Sistine Chapel (Encyclopedia Britannica)

Pope invites world artists to Sistine Chapel (AFP 10 Sep 2009)

Date written/update: 2009-11-21