Spain 'Courtyard of the Gentiles' Considers Beauty, Faith

Art, Culture and Transcendence Discussion Marks Barcelona Event

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BARCELONA, Spain, MAY 18, 2012 ( A new session of the “Courtyard of the Gentiles” opened Thursday in Barcelona. The Courtyard is an initiative the Pontifical Council for Culture has been organizing worldwide, in line with the thought of Benedict XVI, who is calling for the opening of new “courtyards,” which will enable contemporary man to enter into contact with God, the «Unknown.”

Thus believers and non-believers gathered in Barcelona’s National Museum of Art, to consider art as the way of transcendence. The reflections were multiplied immediately by thousands of tweets, a new courtyard of our time.

At the opening, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, motivated those present to affirm that “art impresses like the faith,” because “real art generates interest and does not leave one indifferent.” The cardinal invited everyone to “fight against superficiality in art” and to seek “the invisible in the visible, given that art and faith are an opening to the absolute.”

After the opening, those attending, either at the Museum or through the live transmission on the Web, witnessed art made music in the performance of Lidia Pujol, who went to the stage twice to sing compositions created in the 11th and 12th centuries.

The event continued with ideas from the anthropologist and monk Lluis Duch, who said that “the symbol is essential, inherent to the human condition, which makes the absent present.” At the same table, critic and art historian Daniel Giralt-Miracle pointed out “the great need for art in human life.”

The event ended with the Interventions of the narrator, poet and professor of aesthetics Rafael Argullol, who said that “in art we find unity while the aesthetic experience lasts.” Also contributing her experience was the director of the section of Contemporary Art of the Vatican Museums, Micol Forti, who described art as a genuine “place of revelation.”

Barcelona’s Courtyards of the Gentiles, which concluded today, took up the intervention of Cardinal Ravasi, who spoke at the end with those attending, led by Esther Gimenez-Salinas, rector of Ramon Llull University and moderator of the event.

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