Pope Benedict met with about 250 international artists, although heavily Italian in number, including uch well-known names such as Anish Kapoor, whose current exhibition at the Royal Academy in London is drawing crowds; Zaha Hadid, the Iraqi-born British architect whose striking new Maxxi Museum of Modern Art has just opened in Rome; Daniel Libeskind, the Polish-born American who won the competition for the reconstruction of the World Trade Centre site in New York; and F Murray Abraham, the American movie star of Syrian descent who won an Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Salieri in the Mozart film, Amadeus, in 1985.
Italians attending the art summit to hear Pope Benedict’s call for more interaction between artists and the church included sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro; the doyen of film score composers, Ennio Morricone; and opera star Andrea Bocelli.
Sitting before Michelangelo’s “Last Judgment” in the Sistine Chapel, after a choir sang music by Palestrina, Benedict urged them to embark on “a quest for beauty.” In what he called “a cordial, friendly and impassioned appeal,” he told his guests to be “fully conscious of your great responsibility to communicate beauty, to communicate in and through beauty.”
Bono was among the artists unable to attend the event. A
Benedict Woos Artists, Urging ‘Quest for Beauty’ NYTimes