A Vatican-approved, exact replica of Michaelangelo’s “La Pieta” is on display in the sanctuary at the church, located at 310 W. Second St. It will be here until another church or organization raises the money to have it brought to its congregation.
The replica was created by Vescovo Buonarroti Art, a Nevada company formed by businessman and art enthusiast Steven Bishop, using a proprietary marble blend to ensure detail that is true to the original piece, which was made in 1498-1499 as a tomb monument for the Vatican. It show Mary, mother of Jesus, holding Christ’s lifeless body in her lap.
“I wish to acknowledge Richard Ramm, our administrator of temporalities, for all his efforts over the last two years which made this treasure available to the people of northern Nevada,” Bishop Randolph Calvo of the Dioscese of Reno said in a pamphlet about the display. “It is an opportunity to be close and interactive with this famous piece. I hope that those unable to travel to St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican will accept the extraordinary experience of viewing this masterpiece close to home.”
In 1972, the original in Rome was badly damaged by a mentally disturbed geologist who bashed it with a hammer. Many of the pieces were lost and Mary’s nose had to be rebuilt from a piece of marble cut from her back.
Ramm said the church has had the piece since September but, if another group raises the money to have it shipped, the piece could be gone with a month's warning.
Anyone interested in hosting “La Pieta” can contact Ramm at 329-2571.