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‘Beauty will save the world,’ archbishop tells UN officials at conference on Raphael’s art

May 15, 2017

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Vatican’s representative at UN headquarters in New York, underlined the importance of art in a presentation to a conference entitled “An Evening with Raphael.”

The Vatican envoy remarked that diplomat should recognize “art and beauty as crucial in the achievement of the vision and mission of the United Nations.” He cited the famous words of Dostoyevsky: “Beauty will save the world.”

“Popes, poets, and ordinary mortals have been truly inspired by the healing and transforming power of beauty that illumines even the darkest evil,” the archbishop said. In his presentation he quoted extensively from Pope Francis and from Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II, in their words of appreciation for the importance of art.

Speaking more specifically about Raphael, whose work was the focus of the conference, Archbishop Auza recalled that while he was working at the Vatican, in the Secretariat of State, he would regularly pass through the Logge if Raffaello and feel inspired by the artist’s work. “It always felt like looking up to a living Bible,” he said.


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