Europarliament Art Exhibition Focuses on Virgin Mary

To Celebrate John Paul II's 25-Year Pontificate

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BRUSSELS, Belgium, OCT. 9, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Contemporary sculptures and paintings of the Virgin Mary are on display in an exhibition at the European Parliament headquarters, to celebrate John Paul II's silver anniversary.



The exhibition, entitled "The Virgin in Contemporary Art," opened Wednesday and contains the work of 24 artists. The initiative of Antonio Tajani, vice president of the European Popular Party, is on display on the first floor of the Parliament's building.

The organizers said that the exhibition aims to highlight the profound Christian roots of the continent, the Italian newspaper Avvenire reported.

From Oct. 14 to Nov. 20, the exhibition will be on display in Rome's Pantheon, so that it can be viewed by pilgrims who will attend the celebrations for John Paul II's 25th anniversary and for Mother Teresa's beatification.

Among the artworks are the images of Giacomo Manzy's "Virgin of Poverty," presented in the form of a crown and highlighting various moments of Mary's life.

There are several representations of the Sorrowful Mother, such as Carlo Carra's "Mother Most Sweet" in pastel.

There are representations of the "Mother and Child," as in the work of Hermann Albert, and Mimmo Paladino's "Virgin with Child," a modern icon. Among the sculptures is Emilio Greco's "Dormition" (1983).

In Brussels, a print of Salvador Dalí to illustrate the Bible is being exhibited, while in Rome the Spanish artist's 1960 painting "The Annunciation" will be displayed, on loan from the Vatican Museums.

The European flag, in fact, is inspired in the iconography of the Virgin Mary. It was designed by Catholic artist Arsene Heitz, who submitted his design to the public competition called by the European Council in 1950.

Heitz was inspired by the 12 stars of the Miraculous Medal of the Rue de Bac in Paris, placing them on a blue background.