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Gaudí and the Sagrada Família travel to the Vatican

An exhibition on Barcelona’s Sagrada Família Basilica and Antoni Gaudí’s architectural techniques are on show in the Vatican. It focuses on the art, science and spirituality displayed at the Catalan architect’s church. Pope Benedict XVI declared the Sagrada Família a basilica one year ago during a visit to Barcelona. At the time he commented on the beauty of the temple and spoke of his personal admiration for the work of Gaudí.


24 November 2011 08:53 PM



Barcelona (ACN).- The Vatican will host an exhibition on the art, science and spirituality of Barcelona\u2019s Sagrada Família Basilica and Antoni Gaudí\u2019s work. It opened on Thursday and will run until January 15th next. \u2018Gaudí e la Sagrada Família. Arte, scienza e espiritualità\u2019 (in English \u2018Gaudí and the Sagrada Família. Art, Science and Spirituality\u2019) is on show at the Vatican\u2019s Braccio di Carlo Magno. It aims to reflect on the relationship between art, architecture and transcendence, expressed by the Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí. According to the exhibition\u2019s curator, Daniel Giralt-Miracle, \u201Cart, science and spirituality are three vortex of Gaudí\u2019s personality\u201D. The exhibition focuses on the world known temple, but it also explains the different architectural techniques used by the Art-Nouveau genius, and enables the visitor to have a comprehensive vision on the work he carried out in his lifetime. The Sagrada Família was declared a Basilica by Pope Benedict XVI one year ago, and the exhibition at the Vatican commemorates this event. In his visit to Barcelona, the Pope praised the beauty of Gaudí\u2019s temple and his personal admiration for the Catalan architect and his work.

The exhibition will occupy 800 square metres at the Braccio di Carlo Magno in the Vatican City. Visitors will be able to understand the history of the Basilica, get to know the next stages of its construction and have a vision of how the Sagrada Família will look once it is completed. The exhibition will have photographs, models, audiovisual material, and examples of Gaudí's original work. Materials exposed come from the Temple of the Sagrada Família Museum, the Basilica\u2019s workshops and archives, as well as the History Museum of Catalonia and the photo archive of the private post-card company Triangle Postals SL.

On Thursday in the Vatican City, the exhibition \u2018Gaudí e la Sagrada Família. Arte, scienza e espiritualità\u2019 was unveiled, with the presence of the Catalan President Artur Mas, the Archbishop of Barcelona, Lluís Martínez Sistach and the Vatican Minister for Culture, the Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, among other authorities related to the Sagrada Família.

\u201CThe Sagrada Família is the architectonic synthesis of the Christian message\u201D

The curator of the exhibition, Daniel Giralt-Miracle, explained how the concept of the exhibition came about. While the central nave of the Sagrada Família was being covered, he discovered that \u201Call the elements forming the temple referred to the Christian message\u201D. In Giralt-Miracle\u2019s opinion, \u201Call Gaudí\u2019s proposals were inspired by the writing, the tradition, the liturgy, and the essential figures of the Evangelical narration\u201D. This is why, for the exhibition\u2019s curator, \u201Cthe Sagrada Família is the architectonic synthesis of the Christian message\u201D.

For Barcelona\u2019s Archbishop, the temple \u201Cis another expression of the Christian faith\u2019s contribution to the world of culture, art and beauty, something the Church has been doing over centuries\u201D. Martínez-Sistach also explained that they \u201Calso want to bring the Sagrada Família to one of the world\u2019s most important places [devoted to] beauty, the Vatican Museums\u201D. Barcelona\u2019s Cardinal said that the exhibition also aims to explain the Sagrada Família to foreigners, and encourage them to visit the city.

\u201CAll the Sagrada Família is a catechism sculptured into stone\u201D

The Chairman of the Sagrada Família\u2019s Trust, Joan Rigol, said that \u201CGaudí, through the Sagrada Família, puts all his creativity at the service of the transcendence and spirituality values expressed in the Christian faith\u201D. \u201CThe entire Sagrada Família is a catechism sculptured into stone\u201D, he added.

The exhibition \u2018Gaudí e la Sagrada Família. Arte, scienza e espiritualità\u2019 is organised by the Temple of Sagrada Família\u2019s Building Board, the Joan Maragall Foundation, and by AC/E, Acción Cultural Española (a body to promote Spanish culture abroad). The show has been sponsored by the Catalan Government, the Pontificium Consilium for Culture, the electrical company Endesa Foundation, the savings bank \u2018la Caixa\u2019 Foundation, and the Spanish Embassy in the Holy See. 


  • vaticagaudi

  • An image from Gaudí's exhibition at the Vatican Museums (by Pep Daudé / Temple Sagrada Família)