Minnesota and North Dakota Chapter

Coming Soon: The Life of a Swiss Guard Exhibit

Our chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in Vatican Museums is excited to announce a new photograph and artifact exhibition, which was unveiled at the Vatican Museum in early 2016. This exclusive exhibit, now on an international tour, is coming to Minneapolis June 3-July 30.

The exhibit, titled “The Life of a Swiss Guard: A private view,” features 86 images by photographer Fabio Mantegna as well as military paraphernalia from the Swiss Guards. The exhibit tells the history of the pontifical Swiss Guard Corps in the service of the Pope and was curated by Dr. Romina Cometti, restorations project manager for the Vatican Museums.

Over a period of several weeks, photographer Fabio Mantegna captured an intimate view of the life of the men who make up the Swiss Guard. Mantegna was fully immersed in the daily lives of these men, dedicated to protecting the Supreme Pontiff. From his vantage point as an insider to this highly visible, yet scarcely understood military corps, the lives of the Swiss Guards emerge through his photographic art giving viewers rare insight into their collective identity, but also their individual personality. All of this is sealed by their oath to lay down their lives, if necessary, in defense of the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Saint Peter.

Visitors will also see photos, in color and black and white, that highlight the responsibility and commitment of the guards to ensure the Pope and his residence are safe. They also show the behind-the-scenes life of a guard, sharing personal experience and stories.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. It is open from June 3 to July 30 and is located in the John Paul XXIII gallery on The Basilica of Saint Mary’s lower level.

The exhibit is sponsored by the Minnesota Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, an interfaith, non-for-profit organization concerned with the protection, restoration and preservation of human history as it is contained in the great repository of art and artifact in the collections of the Vatican museums.

This exhibit was sponsored by our generous members Jack and Cathy Farrell and Jacques and Lydie Stassart. Without their support we would not have been able to feature such an exciting exhibit.

There will also be many exciting events surrounding this exhibit, including some very auspicious guests, so expect more news soon!

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