“Power and Grace – The Patron Saints of Europe” is the title of the exhibition running from 8 October through 10 January 2010 at Rome’s Palazzo Venezia. The complex story of Europe and its peoples over 2,000 years of history of Christian popes.
The exhibition, is the result of a collaborative effort involving the Italian government—through the Italian Embassy to the Holy See and the Rome museum hub—and the San Floriano Committee of the Diocese of Udine. It will be opened on 7 October by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. These 100 works by artists such as Van Eyck, Memling, Mantegna, Del Sarto, van Dyck, Tiziano, Veronese, El Greco, Guercino, Caravaggio, Murillo and Tiepolo form Europe’s greatest museums will give the impression of leafing through an ancient codex, a journey through the culture and social and political history of Europe.
As Minister Frattini pointed out, participating along with Minister of Culture Sandro Bondi at the exhibition preview, the exhibition “offers an opportunity, on the one hand, to re-advance the theme of the Old Continent’s Christian roots, and on the other to reflect on Europe’s future, following the encouraging results of the Irish referendum”. According to Frattini “the persistence of the Union’s crisis of identity makes all the more topical the theme of Europe’s Christian roots”; that these roots include “the values of the person and his dignity” from which to “depart in giving Europe back its soul”, and in working toward those values becoming an essential component in globalization. As for the future of Europe, Frattini underscored, “it must go back to cultivating and asserting its own values; must prove vital and dynamic in the defence of its founding principles. In certain cases, recalling the work of its “Patron Saints”, Europe must regain the strength of moral indignation and mobilize civil consciences. The European Union cannot compromise on themes that are part of our heritage of identity, such as religious freedom”.