Vatican plans meeting between Pope and artists

.- A Vatican press conference was held today to discuss Pope Benedict XVI's upcoming meeting with artists on Nov. 21. The meeting is intended to promote collaboration between the Church and artists.

Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church, spoke on how the meeting will be celebrated on the tenth anniversary of John Paul II's “Letter to Artists” and the forty-fifth anniversary of Paul VI's meeting with artists.

“The event,” he explained, "is not like a general audience of the Holy Father, open to any artist or exclusively to Christian-inspired artists.” “Rather,” he continued, “it aims to be representative of the desire for dialogue between the Church and the world of the arts, a dialogue which must necessarily develop over various stages and using various means.”

According to the archbishop, 255 artists have accepted the invitation and are coming from places all over the world.  They will be divided into categories such as painting and sculpture; architecture; literature and poetry; music and song; cinema, theatre, dance and photography.

Before the Pope addresses the artists, the Sistine Chapel Choir will sing for the gathering. The meeting with Benedict XVI will be followed by a reception in the Vatican Museum where the artists will receive a medal in the Pope's name.

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