Pope John Paul II Makes Art World Debut

"La Nona ora" 1999 Maurizio Cattelan Photo: Attilio Maranzano Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

The diocese of Saint-Aubin, in Rennes, France, is organizing an exhibition to honor the recently canonized Pope John Paul II, the Mensuel de Rennes reports. The exhibition will take place from June 8 to July 8 at the Basilica of Saint-Aubin. The Archbishop of Rennes Pierre d’Ornellas explained in a press conference that the show: “will trace the pontificate of the Pope through a selection of press images and strong words.”

In parallel to the exhibition, La Nona Ora (the Ninth Hour), a 1999 piece by Maurizio Cattelan will be hosted at the museum of fine arts. The artwork, which belongs to billionaire and chairman of Stade Rennais FC, François Pinault, is a wax sculpture of the pope as if he has just been struck by a meteorite. The sculpture is displayed on a red carpet strewn with broken glass.

“My Pinault didn’t immediately answer my loan request,” continued the archbishop. “He won’t be present for the opening, but will come and see La Nona Ora at the museum.”

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