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Fort Lauderdale


Top Vatican Official Experiences Exhibition for the First TimeDuring Private Reception at Museum

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – March 2011 – More than 60 guests gathered for a private reception recently at the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale’s Marks Gallery to welcome His Eminence Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and President of the Governate of Vatican City State. Presented by Holy Cross Hospital in association with PNC Bank and AutoNation, the reception was held to honor Cardinal Lajolo’s exclusive visit to view the exhibition Vatican Splendors: A Journey through Faith and Art. This was the first time that Cardinal Lajolo, one of the top Vatican officials under the Pope, had viewed the exhibition.

His Eminence Cardinal Lajolo is responsible for approving exhibitions such as Vatican Splendors, one of the largest collections of art, documents and historically significant objects from the Vatican ever to tour North America.

In attendance at the event were Irvin Lippman, Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale Executive Director Patrick Taylor, M.D., President and CEO of Holy Cross Hospital; Nova Southeastern University Chancellor Ray Ferrero, Jr., J.D. and President George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D.

Following the reception, Cardinal Lajolo was escorted through the exhibition, providing a special thrill for the Museum’s public visitors. He stopped to chat with many of them, including a young girl who was enthralled to receive His Eminence’s blessing.

As he walked through the exhibition His Eminence remarked, “Most of these items I have never seen before, they are not on view in the Vatican.” Highlights of his tour included Michelangelo’s caliper, Guercino’s ‘Veronica,’ and a 15th century Processional Cross created by Nicola Guardiagrele. At the end of the exhibition, His Eminence placed his hand into the touchable cast of Pope John Paul II’s hand and then signed his name in the exhibition comment book.

“We are very honored to have hosted His Eminence Cardinal Lajolo for this exclusive visit,” said Lippman. “It’s quite a privilege to have His Eminence view Vatican Splendors for the first time at the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale.”

Born in Novara, Italy, His Eminence Cardinal Lajolo was ordained a priest in 1960. He was elected to the titular church of Caesariana with the personal title of Archbishop in 1988, consecrated in 1989, and created Cardinal Deacon in the title of Santa Maria Liberatrice a Monte Testaccio by Pope Benedict XVI in the public consistory of 2007. He was appointed to President of the Governorate of Vatican City State in 2006.

Vatican Splendors: A Journey through Faith and Art presents spectacular paintings by artists such as Giotto and Il Guercino and sculpture by Baroque master Gian Lorenzo Bernini, along with unique objects illustrating the Catholic Church’s impact on history and culture. The exhibition’s nearly 200 objects, many of which have never been on public view, are presented in the Museum’s galleries and in specially-created environments that enhance the visitor’s understanding of both the historical as well as the artistic significance of each work. Objects include paintings, mosaics, sculpture, jewels, intricately embroidered silk vestments, uniforms of the Papal Swiss Guard, as well as an elaborately decorated gold and silver reliquary containing bone fragments of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.

Organized and circulated in conjunction with the Congregazione per l’Evangelizzazione dei Popoli of the Vatican City State, Vatican Splendors is produced by Evergreen Exhibitions in association with the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale. The exhibition is designed to take visitors on a journey into the heart of Vatican City – one of the world’s smallest states, but also one of the richest in history, tradition and culture. The collections are organized to provide a window to the Vatican’s role in the world, with objects marking events throughout 2,000 years of history and tradition. The Vatican has played a central role in creating and preserving Western art, and the exhibition includes major works created specifically for the Church. Collectively, they illustrate the evolution of the Church and its papacy beginning with Saint Peter, with special emphasis on art and historical objects reflecting significant events and periods relating to Christianity.


Funding for the exhibition in Fort Lauderdale has been provided by Presenting Sponsor Holy Cross Hospital, and Associate Sponsors PNC Bank and AutoNation. Additional support is provided by the Amaturo Family Foundation. In-kind support is provided by the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six, RoboVault and Castronovo Vineyards. Media support is being provided by the Sun-Sentinel and Clear Channel. Additional marketing support is provided through partnerships with the Riverwalk A & E and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Visitors and Convention Bureau.

Funding for the Museum of Art is provided, in part, by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

Organized and circulated in conjunction with the Congregazione per l’Evangelizzazione dei Popoli of the Vatican City State, the exhibition is produced by Evergreen Exhibitions in association with the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University.