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Milan Expo 2015: Holy See



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Year Completed



747 sq. meters


Milan Expo 2015

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Italian firm Quattroassociati designed this 747-square-meter pavilion for the Holy See, the administrative body of the Catholic Church in Rome, to discuss the production, dissemination, and consumption of food as it relates to culture and spirituality. Multi-height ceilings draw visitors' eyes upward, while the walls display art associated with the Church, such as Tintoretto's original Last Supper canvas.

Project Description


Theme: Not by Bread Alone. At the Lord's Table with all Mankind

The Concept:
"Not by bread alone does man live, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." From this first sentence of the Gospel, is a message that the Holy See wishes to send out during its participation at Expo Milano 2015.
Food is a primary value for mankind, forever the subject of rituals, symbols, stories, calendars and rules, and also a tool for understanding one’s identity and building relationships with the world, the Creation, time and history.
The Holy See aims to focus visitors' attention on the strong symbolic relevance of feeding, and on its potential for anthropological development. Its potential is deeply social and collective, yet unfortunately, is often interpreted negatively as a reprimand for neglect and injustice.
Food is therefore not only portrayed as nourishment of the body, but as a gesture of nurturing, a meal and a convivium: a moment of encounter and communion, education and growth. This sharply contrasts with the "culture of waste," which increasingly influences today’s society, fuelling the terrible hardships of injustice and poverty.
Through its pavilion, spread over a total area of 747 square meters, the Holy See looks to offer its visitors a space for reflection on issues that persist today, related to food and access to food. Such issues highlight how the anthropological act of offering food is at the heart of both Christian experience, and the cultural and spiritual thinking it has generated within our history.
On display in the pavilion will be great works of art: starting with a painting by Tintoretto

Awaiting visitors as they enter the pavilion is the original canvas of the Ultima Cena (Last Supper) by Tintoretto, which has been brought here, specially for Expo Milano 2015 from the Church of San Trovaso in Venice. In a few months, this work will be replaced with a tapestry by Pieter Paul Rubens, depicting the Institution of the Eucharist, from the Diocesan Museum in Ancona.
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