Upon entering St. Peter's Basilica, immediately to the right is the small chapel, which contains Michelangelo's masterpiece - La Pieta. This is one of the most important and popular monuments to visit inside St. Peter's Basilica, one of the reasons you come to see St. Peter's Basilica.
The statue - based on a design of Mary holding a fallen Jesus that was popular in France at the time of the creation, it was intended for a French Cardinal at the time and is also famous for being one of the only statues that Michelangelo ever signed. Unfortunately, La Pieta statue was attacked in 1972 and has since been held behind a bullet-proof, acrylic glass shield to ensure its future protection.
While we have had the pleasure to see this statue on several occasions in the past, we were a bit troubled to find a new barrier erected, not the acrylic glass panel but a further railing that held us and many other visitors approximately 10-12 meters away from the chapel and statue.
Basically, without a powerful lens, we couldn't see La Pieta that well during this visit, what a shame! This surely ruined some Michelangelo's enthusiasts visit and would have made us very unhappy had we not been here in the past and been able to get much closer to the chapel and statue.
This is just such a beautiful, interesting and important monument, it was a shame that we couldn't get closer, to inspect and admire it again. We do hope the second barrier is (or was) only temporary and not something that will prevent first-time visitors from getting closer to see this marvelous piece of work by Michelangelo, it really detracted from the experience of this attraction.
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