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Pope Francis paid a visit to Venice, also addressing artists at the Venice Art Biennale

Pope Francis (Photo credits: Facebook / La Biennale di Venezia)
Pope Francis (Photo credits: Facebook / La Biennale di Venezia)

, 29.04.2024, 14:00

Testing his endurance and strength after a series of health issues in recent months, Pope Francis on Sunday paid an official visit to Venice, the first since his election in 2013 and also the first time a Pontiff is visiting the Venice Art Biennale, a prestigious art exhibition. Romania too is represented at the Giardini della Biennale, as well as in the New Gallery of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Venice. The Pope’s visit was a reciprocation of the visit several artists paid to the Sisteen Chapen in June last year, the Pope said. “The world needs artists”, the Pope said on this occasion, arguing that artists are called to create genuine “citadels for escape”, with Biblical references, “working together to rid the world of senseless and now hollowed-out antinomies”, behind which there is always “the rejection of the other”. “I confess that next to you I do not feel like a stranger: I feel at home. And I think this actually applies to every human being, because, for all intents and purposes, art holds the status of a ’city of refuge,’ a city that disobeys the regime of violence and discrimination to create forms of human belonging capable of recognizing, including, protecting, embracing everyone. Everyone, starting with the last ones”, the Pope said during a meeting held at the Sancta Maria Magdalena Church, the Giudecca prison chapel, where the Pope started his visit by speaking to the women inmates there.

 

 

Held over April 20-24 November this year, the Venice Art Biennale has reached its 60th edition, and comprises works by new contemporary artists. The project representing Romania is What Work Is, an exhibition curated by Ciprian Mureșan, featuring Șerban Savu as lead artist, exploring the complex balance between work and personal time. The Biennale this year is themed Foreigners Everywhere, a topic strongly resounding with Savu’s work, which explores feelings of disorientation and displacement, focusing on the difficulties experienced by workers abroad and their impact on feelings of belonging and identity. The Pope then went on to visit the Basilica della Salute, where he addressed young people. “We live in a world suffocated by products created by man, which make us lose our awe for the surrounding beauty. The Genesis teaches us to be creators of beauty ourselves, to create something never-before made. Life must be given, not managed. Let us break away with the mesmerizing world of social media that numbs our soul”, Pope Francis said. In his traditional Sunday prayer in San Marco Square, before a 10-thousand strong crowd, Pope Francis called for peace and urged people to “care for our common home”, a reference to the impact of overtourism on the environment. (VP)

Photo: geralt / pixabay.com
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