Art: Church Burner

An exhibition at Rome's fashionable Obelisco Gallery was stirring up some three-alarm excitement in Italian art circles last week. In a series of lurid, explicitly painted canvases, enterprising Artist Aldo Pagliacci, 38, had set fire to six of Rome's most famed and revered churches including St. Peter's itself.

To Catholic Rome that was a shocker. Critics goggled at Pagliacci's pyrotechnics; the newspapers, wary of violent reader reactions, carried no mention of the opening. But word-of-mouth publicity was enough to make the show a roaring success; within two days collectors had snapped up all...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!