Art: The Door of Death

Renaissance Sculptor Antonio Filarete completed the massive central doors of St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome more than five centuries ago. His bronze doors were flanked, somewhat incongruously, by plain oak ones—and have been ever since. Last week the Vatican got around to the flanking doors, commissioned two traditionalist Italian sculptors named Alfredo Biagini and Venanzo Crocetti to replace them with bronze bas-reliefs celebrating the history of the church. Critics mildly approved the Vatican's conservative choices, raised a chorus of hurrahs when they learned that it had also commissioned Giacomo Manzu, a controversial...

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