Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

That Old-Time Religion 

The Vatican hunts down relics from hundreds of years ago for a traveling display on papal history.

One of the earliest images of Jesus Christ graces the first-ever traveling exhibit of papal memorabilia in Vatican Splendors From Saint Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Museums & the Swiss Guard. Its Cleveland debut this week marks the second of only three American stops this year when you can eyeball artifacts like the fifth-century Mandylion of Edessa, which is historically compared to the Shroud of Turin. "The king of Edessa sent for Jesus, but he couldn't go. So Jesus placed his face in the cloth," says Mark Greenberg, the show's producer. "The comparisons [with the shroud] are astounding." The collection also spotlights mosaics, paintings, and swords, and the stories behind each of them. For instance, a tiara was given to Pope Pius VII by a tempestuous Napoléon Bonaparte in 1800. "It was created from jewels and precious stones that Napoléon and his army had looted from the Vatican — and then made two sizes too small," says Greenberg. "Like the Grinch."The display features regalia from the Papal Swiss Guard, a ceremonial vestment worn by the reigning Pope Benedict XVI — even the purported bones of Saint Peter. "People of the Catholic faith will get something out of it on one level," says Greenberg. "But anyone interested in history, culture, and art will see some great objects, many of which have never been on display before." The exhibit runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, through Sunday, September 7, at the Western Reserve Historical Society, 10825 East Boulevard in University Circle. Admission is $14 to $20. Call 800-840-1157 or visit
Mondays-Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thursdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Starts: June 3. Continues through Sept. 7, 2008

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Highlights

More by Chris Miller

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation