Sadly I post this photo

On one the most beautiful bridges in the world, the "Angel Bridge" which crosses the Tiber in front of Castel Sant’Angelo, there are stunning statues from the studio of Bernini.  Angels display to the passersby the instruments of the Passion of the Lord.

Within the last few months one of them sadly, was damaged in a very bad way.   There had been some problems with dopes spray painting graffiti on the bases where the Latin inscriptions spoke of the mystery the angel was coveying.  Cleaning resulted in the erosion of those inscriptions. 

This problem is worse.  I don’t know if it comes from vandalism or something else.

This is one of my favorite statues, too.  The angel holding the nails which fixed the Lord to the Cross.

Here is a shot of the statue, still intact, which I took a while back.

Here it is now:


I am pretty sad about this, frankly.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Fr Z,

    Put up all the photos, please!

  2. dob says:

    Pretty sad. It needs to be fixed and quickly. Leaving it damaged is not good.

  3. That’s terrible. I took pictures of all the statues at night. The moon was just right at times creating halos around the angel’s heads. The pictures did not turn out quite right (lots of noise) but I’ll be back soon to correct the problem. Hopefully the moon will cooperate.

    Really, though, why vandalize?

  4. Derik Castillo says:

    I wonder if these statues, are protected in the same way as
    old buildings and art masterpieces

  5. Many famous sculptures in Rome are watched over by cameras, but I’m not sure about these.

  6. techno_aesthete says:

    Such senseless vandalism. An artistic masterpiece that has withstood centuries of weather and passersby only to be defiled by some obnoxious nitwit. If only these creatures would channel their destructive energy towards something constructive or productive…

  7. Animadversor says:

    Can we be so sure that it was vandalism? The angel was holding the nail in a very delicate, gingerly fashion, not grasping it securely. It is not hard to imagine that the damage was natural, the statue having been exposed over many years to the elements, the vibration of traffic, etc.

    In any case, perhaps this might be an opportunity for reflection on the angels and Our Lord. How astonished they are at the Incarnation, something will all their intelligence and all their charity they did not even begin to conceive. And how much more so at His Passion! But we seem by comparison sometimes to take it for granted–yet to the angels it is ever new.

  8. Aumgn says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the originals of the statues on the Ponte Sant’Angelo, at least those by Bernini’s studio itself, in San Andrea delle Fratte?

  9. Vincent says:

    I suppose that if beauty and truth are again to be crucified there is some joy in knowing that (at least in this case) the vehicle of pain resembles that which peirced our dear Saviour.

    May God grant us triumph in defeat.

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