To: sitetest; Land of the Irish; Hermann the Cherusker; sandyeggo; american colleen; St.Chuck; ...
FYI..if you have ping lists, please ping. This is not to be missed
posted on 10/03/2003 1:25:54 PM PDT
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posted on 10/03/2003 1:28:48 PM PDT
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Thanks for the heads up. Is there a link to a schedule of cities?
posted on 10/03/2003 2:13:37 PM PDT
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I saw the show in Houston. Maybe I was just tired after having driven 6 hours from New Orleans that morning, but I confess I was underwhelmed.
Now it would be unfair of me to ask the exhibition to be more than it is. What it is is an introduction to the Petrine office -- its origin and historical continuity, its claims, and its cultural impact. As an educational initiative I think it covered the bases pretty well. The "Vatican Necropolis" section does an evocative job of transporting the viewer to 1st century Rome (and the present-day site under the high altar of St. Peter's), but that's more about setting the scene than displaying artifacts. The Mandylion of Odessa OTOH made for a fascinating display of an authentically ancient and revered icon, but I thought the historical commentary inadequate. One quibble would be a mislabling -- a chasuble IIRC was misidentified as a cope. Not a big deal, I admit, but an instance of carelessness that could have been avoided.
Most of the items on display were not especially old, in the context of the papacy, and a great many though interesting were of less-than-epochal artistic importance. The papal tiaras were undeniably impressive, and the more so for the historical interest of the personages who wore them, but it's hard to rank them as important works of art in their own right. To be honest, what moved me as much as anything in the exhibit was the plain white cassock of Pius XII. Truly, I felt as though I was standing in the presence of the great pontiff. That was moving yes, but not I think to any non-Catholic.
It was certainly a lengthy exhibit -- you get your money's worth in terms of items viewed -- but I did have the nagging feeling, especially toward the end, that there was some filler of transitory interest. Things like JPII's Millennium Holy Door Opening cope (which I hated on TV and frankly consider to be ephemera on the same level as Princess Diana's dresses).
Probably my biggest disappointment with the show was that it included too many artifacts from the 19th and 20th centuries, and too few truly rare and ancient pieces or works by first rate artists.
Having said all that, would I recommend the show anyway? Certainly yes for anyone within an easy day's drive, if only because we so rarely get to see stuff like this in the USA. And it does make for a good introduction to the papacy that'd be useful in a serious catachetical program for those ages 10 and up. Just don't go hoping to get a miniature sampling of the Vatican Museums. That isn't what this show is about, and you'll be disappointed if that's what you expect or where your interests lie.
posted on 10/03/2003 10:18:55 PM PDT
FYI Scavi Tour
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