The Gates of Paradise arrives in Seoul and welcomes the Pope Francis



For the visit of Pope Francis to Korea this August, the director of the National Palace Museum of Korea in Seoul, Dr Lee Gwi-young, has requested the collaboration of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, in organising an exhibition of works from the Florence Cathedral and Baptistery and from other sources. The exhibition, named “The beauty of  Christianity. Masterpieces from the Florence Cathedral and Vatican” is ideated and curated by Mons.
Timothy Verdon, director of the Museo dell’Opera and  aims at making Christianity better known in Korea.

The exhibition of circa fifty works from the Museo dell’Opera and from the Vatican Museums will illustrate the structure of Christian faith through statues, paintings, bronze sculpture and liturgical art. In the spacious halls of the National Palace Museum it will situate groupings of objects related to specific themes against backdrops evoking the context of the Florence Cathedral, Baptistery and Bell Tower, providing viewers with an experience of ‘total immersion’; the acoustical accompaniment will be comprised of sacred music composed for Florence Cathedral in the course of the centuries. The logic of the exhibition will be articulated in seven thematic sections:

1.     The Door of Faith;

2.     The Door, the Way, the Truth, the Life; 

3.     Christ and Creativity;

4.     Priesthood and Sacraments; 

5.     The Splendour of Liturgy;

6.     The Harmony of Heaven;

7.     Prophets and Saints.


The Door of Faith will be the entry point of the exhibition. The scale copy of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gate of Paradise, 5m high, accompanied by panels explaining the ten Old Testament scenes depicted, will be protagonist of this first section. These Florentine Renaissance Masterpiece from Florence Cathedral will introduce visitors to understand the experience of Christ, salvation, and peace.


Exhibition on view from 12th August to 12th November, 2014


For the complete  description of all the sections of the exhibition click here and download the pdf file >>