The Hidden Statue of St Ignatius
The statue of St Ignatius by Luigi Acquisti (1745-1823), in the Chiesa del Gesu, is only revealed for a short period each day.
The statue is hidden behind the altarpiece in the Cappella di Sant' Ignazio and each day at 17.30 the painting is lowered, in an elaborate light and sound display, to reveal St Ignatius in all his splendour!
The statue is a copy of the one made by the French sculptor Pierre Legros the Younger in 1698. The original statue was made of silver and gilded copper, but was melted down 1798, on the orders of Pope Pius VI (r. 1775-99), to pay the reparations demanded by the French in the Treaty of Tolentino. Six years later Acquisti created the copy in silvered stucco.
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My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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