Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsGems

WORLD BRIEFING / VATICAN CITY

Restored cross to be unveiled

November 19, 2009|Times Wire Reports

One of the gems of the Vatican's priceless religious art collection -- a 6th century reliquary containing the purported fragments of the cross on which Jesus was crucified -- has gotten a new look after being restored to its Byzantine-era glory, experts say.

The Vatican today will unveil the restored Crux Vaticana, a jewel-encrusted golden cross containing what tradition holds are shards of Jesus' cross. Art experts said the restoration rendered the cross much closer to what it would have looked like at the time Byzantine Emperor Justin II gave it to the people of Rome.

The restoration corrected a botched 19th century restoration that threatened to corrode the piece. And it replaced the brightly colored gems that were added in previous centuries with the large, imperfect pearls that are emblematic of Byzantine-era imperial masterpieces, said restorer Sante Guido.

Though there are purported fragments of the cross in churches around the world, including Rome's Holy Cross basilica, the Crux Vaticana is considered the oldest reliquary of the cross.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|