ROME, (C.M. Paul) – Pilgrims and tourists making their way to St Peter’s Basilica along the broad Via della Conciliazione from Castel Sant’Angelo cannot miss this. Lined up along the left side foot path of the arrow straight street is the world’s largest bronze representation of the Stations of the Cross. Unbelievable! A total of 49 statues and 11 crosses form the 14 scenes that depict Christ’s condemnation to death, the carrying of the cross, three falls, crucifixion, death and burial. The larger than life-size figures were installed for a first-ever viewing, 13 March to 27 April 2011. It was commissioned for the Chilean port city Coquimbo by the Fundacion Cruz del III Milenio, a Catholic organization established after Pope John Paul II’s visit to Chile in 1987.
It is not unusual to see people, especially the young, kneeling on footpath and looking at Mary Magdalene standing at the foot of the cross, her gaze fixed on Jesus with an expression so intense, one can see tears almost welling up in her eyes. Or, the stunning expression of belief dawning on the battle scarred face of centurion Longinus at the foot of the cross!
Domus Dei, owned and managed by the Congregation of the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master, produced the representations. The principle sculptors Pasquale Nava and Giuseppe Allamprese employed the same ancient lost-wax casting techniques used by Renaissance masters Brunelleschi and Donatello of 15th century. Pls chk the link for “lost-wax casting technique” in 8th century India. http://www.lotussculpture.com/bronze_sculpture_bronze_casting.htm
Some sisters also work in production and run the operation along with lay people with specific expertise in their various workshops.
“As in all our work – the disciple sisters wish to “transmit our faith” through the pieces of art, “ says Domus Dei public relations director, Sr. Rosa Scannella.
Scannella explains that there are Ways of the Cross in existence that have larger figures, but none has ever been made so large in bronze. The larger figures that stand on the hill at the Lourdes Shrine in France, for example, are made out of iron.
The bronze stations of the cross took five years of work and 10 tons of bronze to complete.
According to Pasquale Nava and Giuseppe Allamprese—the artists who designed the statues—the depictions are as true as possible to the Gospel accounts of the Way of the Cross.
After the Lenten exhibition in Rome comes to a close on April 27, the bronze statues will leave for their final destination to a famous hilltop cross in a poor neighborhood in the city of Coquimbo, Chile.
Stations of the Cross on Via della Conciliazione (News) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VcmEQ5aS-Q
Stations of the Cross on Via della Conciliazione (silent Meditation)