(Vatican Radio) On the 20th of November 2016 Pope Francis is set to close the 'Holy Door' of Saint Peter’s Basilica with its 16 bronze panels depicting the story of Jesus in his mercy seeking his lost sheep. A symbolic gesture to mark the end of the 'Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy' which began just under a year ago. One which represents the passage to salvation, the 'Gateway to God’s Mercy'.
In this programme you can join Veronica Scarisbrick at the ‘Fonderia Artistica Marinelli’ where this ‘Holy Door’ was cast for the Jubilee Year of 1950.
Listen to Ferdinando Marinelli giving Veronica Scarisbrick a tour of the ‘Fonderia Artistica Marinelli’:
It was 1949, when on the eve of the Jubilee Year of 1950, the Pope of the time Pius XII, entrusted the creation of the masterpiece to Italian artist, Vico Consorti, selecting this foundry owned by Ferdinando Marinelli. His grandson, by the same name, invited Veronica Scarisbrick to visit the family foundry.
She met him in Florence at his window on the world, an enchanting gallery on the banks of the River Arno seething with a myriad of bronze statues from different eras. Among them the impressive 'Giambologna Neptune', who seems to greet you as you enter.
And it was by this towering statue that Ferdinando Marinelli greeted her, ready to drive across the Tuscan countryside to his foundry which lies on the way to Siena, Vico Consorti’s city.
She was eager to visit his foundry and aware it was not the one where the Holy Door was cast by his grandfather but another more recent one. She knew too that Ferdinando Marinelli was sure to treasure that age old rapport of his foundry with the Vatican despite the more modern outreach he now enjoys right across the world. No surprise as for centuries the Church and the world of art have enjoyed an extremely prolific love affair.
Click here to catch a glimpse of Veronica Scarisbrick's tour at the foundry http://www.fonderiamarinelli.it/