Monument to Pope Benedict XV (1926-28) by Pietro Canonica (Giacomo della Chiesa, Genoa, b.1854/r.1914-22)
The monument to Pope Benedict XV is by the sculptor Pietro Canonica (1869-1959). The pope kneels on a tomb covered in olive branches, symbols of peace. The large bronze relief depicts the Virgin Mary presenting the Christ child to a world engulfed in flames. Benedict XV was elected pope a few weeks before the outbreak of World War One. He was a vociferous opponent of the war, which he described as a 'useless massacre' and a 'senseless destruction'.