Its author is Austrian photographer Robert Hupka, who died in 2001. Hupka had the opportunity to take thousands of unpublished photographs of the statue during the New York World’s Fair in 1964.
The photographs are of various types, in black and white, in color, with lenses that range from 35 to 400 millimeters, taken during the day and at night. According to the exhibition’s organizers, “the photographer succeeded in discovering the Pietà as no one can now see it, and as only Michelangelo had seen it until then.”
Michelangelo Buonarroti was only 25 when he sculpted the Pietà from a single block of Carrara marble.
A mentally disturbed man hammered it 15 times in 1972, disfiguring the face. Following its restoration, the sculpture has been kept behind bulletproof glass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
The exhibition will be held in the Charlemagne Wing, a Vatican exhibition hall that was closed to the public for 10 years. Organized by Arstella Publishers, the show will be open from March until July.
Dozens of photographs and more information on the photographer may be found at www.arstella.fr.