Display Brings Vatican History to Life

World’s Smallest State Marking 80 Years

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 9, 2009 (Zenit.org).- A large, wooden, three-dimensional scale will help viewers bring the history of Vatican City State to life, as the world’s smallest nation marks its 80th anniversary.

The scale is part of an exposition that will open Wednesday next to St. Peter’s Square, called “80 Years of the Vatican State.”

“The scale shows the historical part of the Lateran Accords, which gave a start to the life and later the Constitution of the state of the Vatican, as was conceived by Pius XI and built in the following years,” Bishop Renato Boccardo, secretary-general of the governorate of Vatican City State, told ZENIT. The governorate is sponsoring the display.

He defined the display as a “photographic album or a window that opens to daily life” of this “symbolic state” that “ensures the Holy See the necessary liberty to carry out its mission.”

The Feb. 11, 1929 accords recognized the independence and sovereignty of the Holy See, created the Vatican City State, and defined the civil and religious relationship between the government and the Church in Italy.

The first section shows what the Vatican was like before that date. It starts with images from the 16th and 17the century and shows the urban and topographical modifications the city under went in the following centuries.

The next part is dedicated to Pius XI, the Pope when the accords were signed after negotiations with the Italian King Victor Manuel III (the table where the event took place is part of the exposition).

Viewers also can see the original text of the treaty, normally kept in the Vatican Secret Archives.

The heart of the exposition is dedicated to the birth of the new state, with the construction that came with it: the train station, the radio, the post office, the museums and others elements.

The last part of the display is dedicated to the pontificates since 1929: Pius XI through Benedict XVI.

The exhibition runs through May 10.

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On the Net:

Vatican City State: vaticanstate.va/EN/homepage.htm

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