Rituals of Life - The Spirituality and Culture of Aboriginal Australians: the Vatican Museums Collection

The exhibition "Rituals of Life" is accessible to visitors to the Vatican Museums, starting from Saturday 16 October 2010 and will be on display for all of 2011. "Rituals of Life" is a journey through the spirituality and culture of the Aboriginal people of Australia through the collection brought together in the Ethnological Museum of the Vatican Museums. 

"Rituals of Life" was collated by Fr. Nicola Mapelli, Curator of the Ethnological Collections of the Vatican Museums, with the support and collaboration of the National Museum of Australia through the work of Senior Indigenous curator Margo Neale and Katherine Aigner; and with the assistance of Nadia Fiussello. The objects of the exhibition were prepared and organised thanks to the care and competent restoration undertaken on the works of art displayed by the Poly-Material laboratory of the Vatican Museums, coordinated by Stefania Pandozy. 

In the leading up to the exhibition, Fr. Nicola Mapelli with Katherine Aigner; a representative of the National Museum of Australia who researched the collection, travelled extensively to Aboriginal communities, mainly in Western Australia and the Tiwi Islands to reconnect with the descendents of the Aboriginal people who sent their works to the Vatican almost one century ago as a gift to Pope Pious XI.

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