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The Vatican set to have a pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale

October 30, 2012|By Deborah Vankin
  • Venice Biennale President Paolo Baratta, left, with Massimiliano Gioni, director of the 55th exhibition.
Venice Biennale President Paolo Baratta, left, with Massimiliano Gioni,… (Giorgio Zucchiatti / Venice…)

The next Venice Biennale -- which begins in June 2013 -- will have a special guest: the Vatican.   

The Holy See will have its own pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, according to The Art Newspaper. Venice Biennale President Paolo Baratta will create space for the Vatican at the Arsenale site.

Vatican Museums Director Antonio Paolucci wouldn’t say what works exactly would be shown at the international art exhibition, but the Italian newspaper La Stampa reported earlier this year that the Catholic church would showcase a mix of emerging and established artists from around the world, fewer than 10 men and women in all. Their subject matter will reportedly be the first 11 chapters of the Book of Genesis.

The idea that the Vatican would have its own pavilion at the Venice Biennale was first broached in 2009, but it has been slow to get off the ground.

At a press conference last week, according to a statement released by the Venice Biennale, “the vice president of the promoting committee for the Holy See’s pavilion at the Biennale Arte 2013 was present.”  

The title of the Venice Biennale will be “Il Palazzo Enciclopedico,” or “The Encyclopedic Palace.”


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