Igor Mitoraj is the sculptor of the new bronze doors of the Basilica of St. Marys' of the Angels and Martyrs in Rome to be inaugurated on February 28, 2006.
The new bronze doors will be unveiled at 19.00, in the presence of the religious authorities along with government officials including Marcello Pera, the President of the Italian Senate, Pier Ferdinando Casini, President of the Chamber of Deputies, Rocco Buttiglione, Minister of Culture, Claudio Scajola, Minister for Productive Activities, Giovanni Alemanno, Minister for Agriculture and Forestry Policy, Giorgio La Malfa , Minister for European Policy, Pietro Lunardi, Minister for Infrastructures and Transportation, Altero Matteoli, Minister for the Environment and Territorial Protection, Gianni Letta, Undersecretary to the Prime Minister's Office and Walter Veltroni, the Mayor of Rome.
The monumental work of art by sculptor Igor Mitoraj, arrived in Rome on February 20 from Pietrasanta, where Mitoraj lives and works. The bronze doors were commissioned two years ago by Monsignor Renzo Giuliano, the priest in charge of the Basilica for the last 15 years. Monsignor Giuliano is well known for his artistic expertise: in fact, under his direction important works of some of the most important artists of the twentieth century have been installed in the Basilica of St. Marys' of the Angels and Martyrs. These include the main altar by Umberto Mastroianni.
The new bronze doors will be unveiled for the press on February 27th . Each door is three metres by six and a half metres and weighs three tons. They will fill a gap in the Basilica, which in ancient Rome was part of the Baths of Diocletian and in the 16 th century was transformed into a church by Michelangelo. The two current doors, which are of wood and have no artistic value, were installed in the 1950s and are not in good condition.
Monsignor Renzo Giuliano says, “The doors have a profound evangelizing symbolic value, and for this reason they must be a powerful work of art in order to symbolize the revelation of a transcendent vision that is in the act of perceptively calling man to reality”.
Mitoraj was inspired by themes taken from “The Annunciation” and from “The Redemption”.
The bronze door on the right hand side (which can be seen from Piazza della Repubblica”) shows an angel and the Virgin Mary listening to him, and you can catch a glimpse of the world in the background. Scattered figures, just heads, some blindfolded, represent the angels. The Bronze door on the left, (that of “The Redemption”) symbolizes the Risen Christ represented by a figure marked with a cross .