Posted on September 30, 2019

Artist Says New Sculpture in St. Peter’s Square Blends History and Current Events

Inés San Martín, Crux, September 29, 2019

After moving Pope Francis — and the world — with his sculpture “Homeless Jesus,” a Canadian artist is at it again, this time as the mastermind behind the first new sculpture installed in St. Peter’s Square in over 400 years: It depicts 140 migrants and refugees and is called “Angels Unaware.”

Artist Timothy Schmalz created the original concept for the sculpture at the request of the Vatican’s Migrants and Refugees office, headed by Cardinal-designate Michael Czerny, but overseen directly by the pope himself.

The new 20-foot tall bronze sculpture will be unveiled by Francis on Sunday, Feast of Archangels, during a special Mass in St. Peter’s Square for migrants and refugees. He will be accompanied by the artist and four migrants.

The sculpture shows 140 people from different cultures and from different times in history: From indigenous peoples to Jews escaping Nazi Germany to Syrians and Africans fleeing war and famine today.