The layout of this exhibition was designed by the author himself, creating for the first time a structure including the Alpha and the Omega.
The thirty-three glass cylinders would contain the wooden sculptures, the same that had been exhibited in Barcelona, Vic, Tortosa, Tarragona, three times in Rome, in this same church in Assisi, Verona, Zaragoza, Girona, Mallorca and Frankfurt am Main.
Since the first installation at the Pia Almoina in Barcelona in 1998, the glass cylinders emerge from a base consisting of the earth of the location that hosts the exhibition.
In the installation at the Evangelical Church Alte Nikolai in Frankfurt, the reddish earth came from the Rhine vineyards.
So, this earth was brought to Assisi to become the base of the Omega of this installation. With this, Guido Dettoni della Grazia wanted to suggest a communion between the Catholic and the Evangelical Churches.
The church of Santa Maria delle Rose has never been deconsecrated, even so, no liturgical celebration has taken place there for more than 70 years.
Since 2002, the daily display has consisted of a spiritual pause to get closer to Mary and to oneself, holding her Icon, embracing the TAU, or gazing with one’s hands at the Face of Christ. The repertoire of music has been recompiled especially to accompany the visitor. Its everydayness is also the welcome offered by the ladies, the voice of the exhibition, who since 2002 have invited visitors to contain the Icon, telling its story and revealing that the object of prayer it is prayer itself. This also applies to the TAU, by embracing it, and to the Face of Christ, by touching it. The latter is not on display but is located in a hidden part of the church, accessible only on request: if the visitor expresses interest and devotion, the welcoming lady will suggest this experience.
The life of the exhibition has manifested itself on repeated occasions by hosting songs, choirs, and poetry readings. It also hosted collective creative workshops according to HANDSMATTER practice.
A previous installation of the 33 wooden sculptures of the MARIA Icon had been hosted at the same church during the summer of the Holy Year 2000. That presence was a seed.
On January 24, 2002, the permanent exhibition MARIA was inaugurated at the church of Santa Maria delle Rose by the Bishop of Assisi, Monsignor Sergio Goretti, and the Mayor of Assisi, Claudio Ricci, both of whom presided in their respective offices at that time, and was presented by Don Vittorio Peri, dean of the Cathedral Chapter San Rufino.
The MARIA exhibition, by concession of the Cultural Heritage Commission of Assisi, Nocera Umbra and Gualdo Tadino, has since its inception relied on the patronage of the Cathedral Chapter of San Rufino, the Municipality of Assisi, the Province of Perugia and the Region of Umbria.
The Cooperativa Santa Maria delle Rose
Until 2007, the Cathedral Chapter of San Rufino had carried on the management of the exhibition, but as it was no longer able to do so, the author asked the people who had been in charge of the exhibition from the beginning to form a Cooperative to take it over completely. Thus the Cooperativa Santa Maria delle Rose was born, to which Guido Dettoni della Grazia entrusted the free availability of the entire Alfa-Omega exhibition of his property. Due to the spirit of the exhibition, he has added the TAU, two meters high and carved from lime wood; the Face of Christ and a marble reproduction of the statue of the Resurrection, an enlargement of which can be found in the Church of St Ignatius in Singapore.
Admission free. Visitors can purchase reproductions of the statues. Photos and videos permitted.
The Alfa-Omega installation has not changed since 2002. Due to the earthquakes that have taken place over so many years, it must be replaced by a new one. Guido Dettoni della Grazia has designed a structure that will not be altered by these quakes and will further enhance the value of the Alpha-Omega.
To obtain the necessary financial resources, people or entities willing to support must be brought together. For information, please contact NESHER EDITIONS SL, the organization in charge of representing and producing the works of this artist. Thank you.