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Limited edition Vatican Exhibit ornament available
By MICHAEL GAFFNEY LubbockOnline.com

Bringing a collection of 31 rare, religious frescoes from Rome, Italy, to Lubbock, Texas, is a costly endeavor.

To help raise the money and in-kind services required to present the frescoes to the people of West Texas and the world, a Vatican Exhibit 2002 Foundation was created. The non-profit organization, comprised of dozens of South Plains residents, is charged with underwriting the cost of the exhibit, said Rachael Ramirez, volunteer coordinator.

In support of the Vatican exhibit, Nelda Laney, wife of Texas Speaker of the House Pete Laney, D-Hale Center, designed a limited edition ornament.

The piece is the only official memento commemorating "Traditions and Renewal: The Vatican Museums Exhibition," scheduled to open at The Museum at Texas Tech on June 2, 2002.

Made of brass finished in 24-carat gold, the ornament depicts a crucifix rising from a central semi-circle, which contains an image of the papal crown floating above the papal crest.

Like points of a compass, arrows radiate around the papal symbol, and on either side of the crest are two half-globes, showing the Eastern and Western continents.

The flags of Texnd the United States on one side, and the flags of Mexico and the Vatican City on the other bracket the crest.

Beneath the crest, a ribbon-like banner bears the words "Medieval Frescoes," and beneath the banner, in cutout relief, are the words, "The Vatican Museums Exhibition, Lubbock, Texas 2002."

The flags represent the collaboration between the four governments that allowed the exhibit to come to the Hub City, said Katie Johnston, marketing and finance coordinator for the foundation.

"The arrows around the logo represent spreading this art to the world," Johnston said. "The two globes represent the East and West, but also represent the Old World and the new."

The ornament sells for $20 plus tax, and proceeds will support the foundation, Ramirez said.

The costs of the exhibition include a restoration and cleaning fee, insurance premiums for each piece of art, security contracts for the frescoes, as well as advance publicity for the exhibition, Ramirez said.

To purchase an ornament, call 749-2549 for details, or visit the foundation office at 1001 Main St., Suite 204, in the Lubbock National Bank building.

Only cash or checks are accepted for ornaments purchased from the office or partner retail outlets, Ramirez said.

However, the ornament is available on the Internet at: http://www.vaticanexhibit.com or http://www.vaticanornament.com/, and credit cards are accepted for Internet purchases, she said.

Partner merchants selling the commemorative ornament include:

Anderson Brothers Jewelers, 8201 Quaker Ave.; Brother John's Catholic Books and Gifts, 1102 Slide Road; The Convention and Visitors Bureau of Lubbock, 1301 Broadway; Gingiss Formal Wear at South Plains Mall, 6002 Slide Road; Holland Gardens, 4315 50th St.; Lubbock National Bank, 1001 Main; Malouf's, 8201 Quaker Ave.; O.S. Shop in Post; The Weil Rose Shop in Plainview; VIVA Bookstore, 8407 Broadway in San Antonio; and the Abell Flower Shop, 1515 Ave. D, Plainview.

All proceeds go to the foundation, Ramirez said.

The exhibit has ended
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