Pianist Pope to Meet With Artists

Singers, Architects, Painters to Gather in Sistine Chapel

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 6, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Ten years after Pope John Paul II’s letter to artists, the Bishop of Rome is again planning to address representatives of the world of culture.

Benedict XVI will meet with some 170 artists — from the realms of literature, music, architecture and visual arts — in the Sistine Chapel on Nov. 21.

The event is promoted by the Pontifical Council for Culture. It marks another anniversary as well: 45 years since Pope Paul VI met with artists.
It is a meeting «to rediscover a discourse and dialogue that is global and essential,» Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of that dicastery, said today at a press conference announcing the event.

The archbishop noted that 500 artists were invited but only 170 have confirmed their attendance, though he said this was due to conflicting schedules not ideological differences.

He said those invited «do not belong only to the Catholic world,» although the Church «is represented in a substantial way.»
The day before the meeting, the artists will visit the modern art collection in the Vatican Museums, which was established at the request of Paul VI.
Among the artists who will attend the meeting are Italian singer Andrea Bocelli, Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt, Mexican painter Gustavo Aceves and the master of Russian figurative art Aleksandr Zvyagin. Also attending will be British architect David Chipperfield, and Swiss architect Mario Botta. Representatives of literature include novelist Susana Tamaro and Italian literary critic and journalist Lorenzo Mondo.
There will be brief musical interventions to open and close the meeting. Some paragraphs of John Paul II’s letter will also be read.Benedict XVI will address the artists and later, participants will attend a meeting in the New Wing of the Vatican Museums and be given a medal on behalf of the Holy Father that was made especially for the event.

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