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Thursday, February 22, 2007


VATICAN CITY, FEB 22, 2007 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office this morning, a press conference was held to present the exhibition "'Tu es Petrus' - the Basilica of Peter in the Medals of the Popes," which has been organized by the Vatican Apostolic Library and the Numismatic Collections of Rome to mark the 500th anniversary of the foundation of the current Vatican Basilica.

  The exhibition is due to be inaugurated at 11 a.m. tomorrow Friday, February 23, at Villa Chiassi on Rome's via Cola di Rienzo by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church. It is due to run until April 22.

  In the course of the press conference, Ambrogio M. Piazzoni vice-prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Library explained how the pontifical medals correspond to different phases of the construction of the modern basilica. They were coined each time another phase of the building work was completed, he said, from the laying of the first stone in 1506 until the completion of the building. However, they did not stop there "because work has continued over these 500 years."

  The vice-prefect then went on to list a number of the medals that will be on display: the medal coined at the foundation of the basilica (depicting Bramante's design which was never in fact put into effect), the medal showing Sangallo's project, that with Michelangelo's design, with the dome, with Maderno's facade, Bernini's cathedra, etc.

  He then announced that, following its closure on April 22, the exhibition will move to Russia, to the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, where it will be open to public view during the months of May and June. "This," he said, "is highly significant because it is the first time that objects from the Vatican Apostolic Library have been put on display in that great country."
OP/EXHIBITION:VATICAN LIBRARY/...            VIS 20070222 (320)

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