Passengers visiting a swanky new boarding area at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome will, for the foreseeable future, be greeted by one of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s most famous sculptural works, Salvator Mundi (around 1679). The marble bust, showing Christ with his hand outstretched, stands in an imposing glass case in the airport lobby (Jesus is no doubt granting benediction to those leaving on flight BA345 to Manchester). The sculptural bust, initially intended as a gift for Queen Christina of Sweden, is usually on show in a church in Rome (the Basilica of San Sebastiano) but in a special arrangement with the Italian Interior Ministry, the work will remain on view for around four weeks according to local press reports. “The display is part of the more general strategy of the Leonardo da Vinci [airport] to promote local and national art and culture among Italian and foreign passengers,” says an airport statement. According to the News in Germany website: “Next to it, the colourful display boards for the flights flicker, opposite is the restaurant chain Eataly."
Calling Mr Bernini to gate 35—artist’s Salvator Mundi sculpture goes on show at Rome airport
Italian government approves display of sculptural icon in new boarding area
18 April 2023