Sculpture: Doors of Death

"My good son Giacomo, you must promise me to finish the doors of St. Peter's as soon as possible." Each time Pope John XXIII posed for a bust during the summer of 1961, he urged Italian Sculptor Giacomo Manzù to get on with a Vatican commission for new bronze doors for the left-hand side of St. Peter's façade. Manzù, who comes from Bergamo, Pope John's birthplace, listened and obeyed. Last month workmen hoisted the ten-ton bronze portals into place.

"Inspiration Flowed." Rome was not built in a day, and neither were Manzù's doors. In 1947, the sculptor entered an...

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