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Wednesday, June 2, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 2 JUN 2010 (VIS) - Tomorrow, Thursday 3 June, the exhibit "Compostela and Europe: The History of Diego Gelmirez" will be opened in the Charlemagne Wing of the colonnade in St. Peter's Square. Diego Gelmirez, the first archbishop of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain, was fundamental in having the city's cathedral built and in promoting the Way of St. James pilgrimage.

  As presented in a communique, the exhibit "is an opportunity for the very first time to learn in depth the history of the Galician city, the Way of St. James, and Archbishop Gelmirez's decisive contribution to European Romanesque art". The exhibit, under the direction of its curator, Manuel Castineiras, a specialist in Medieval art, has been organized by the Xunta de Galicia (Galician Regional Government) within the framework of the activities planned to celebrate the 2010 "Jacobeo" Holy Year.

  The time that Gelmirez was archbishop of the Galician city was "without a doubt the golden age of Compostelan art and culture, as witnessed by the construction of the cathedral and its great facades as well as the two episcopal palaces, urban infrastructures, promotion of a school of grammar, and the publication of historical, religious, and literary texts such as the Compostelan History, or Codex Calixtinus".

  Among the works from Santiago's cathedral and two other important monuments that will be displayed are the bas-relief "Woman with Bunch of Grapes" as well as works of art from sites along the path of the pilgrimage such as Sainte-Foy, Conques, St. Sernin, Toulouse, and St. James of Altopascio, Tuscany.

  The exhibit, which will remain open until 1 August, has free entry and "constitutes the first exhibition undertaken by Santiago de Compostela on Gelmirez, with the objective of illustrating his importance in Galician history as well as in the construction of European Romanesque art".
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