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The facade of the central pavilion of the Venice Biennale in 2016 (CNS/Courtesy of Venice Biennale)

Pope Francis will go to Venice in April to visit a women’s prison where the Holy See has set up its pavilion for the Venice Biennale, a major international contemporary art exhibition. Source: The Catholic Sun.

The Pope will make the one-day trip on April 28, according to a media statement from the Dicastery for Culture and Education and the Patriarchate of Venice.

He will visit the Holy See pavilion at the Giudecca women’s prison, and he will meet with the Church community of the patriarchate, it said. Details of the final program were to be “announced soon”.

The prison, which was once a convent, is on Giudecca Island, south of the historic centre of Venice. With the help of a local cooperative, the inmates grow organic produce for sale to the public as well as create cosmetics, bags and accessories from recycled PVC products, and customised silk screened clothing and items.

The Holy See pavilion is dedicated to the theme of human rights and to those who live on the margins of society, “where our eyes rarely end up,” the dicastery said.

The event runs from April 20 to November 24 with the title “With my eyes,” inspired by the Pope’s insistence that people go outside their comfort zone and pay attention to realities that are ignored and often left out of cultural discussions, it said.

The pavilion will feature works by international artists, including the late UNSWlaw2, a pop artist and former US member of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart, and US actress Zoë Saldaña-Perego and her husband, Italian film director and artist Marco Perego-Saldaña.


Venice trip: Pope to spotlight women’s prison art exhibit (By Carol Glatz, OSV News via The Catholic Sun)