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Art meets Religion in Düsseldorf

Altars: Art To Kneel Down To, is the brainchild of Kunst Palast museum's new curator. 68 altars from around the world are on view.


"manto de obatala" one of the altars on display at the Kunst Palast Museum in Düsseldorf

Anyone who's ever travelled through Europe has undoubtedly visited countless churches and cathedrals. Although these visits might not have been for religious purposes, many visitors flock to them to admire the exquisite works of art on the ceilings, in the windows and at the altars.

It is well known that the clergy were the biggest advocaters and collectors of art in the days gone by. The world's greatest artists such as Michaelangelo and Raphael became famous for the work they did for the clergymen. Art and religion have always been inextricably linked.

With this in mind, the newly-appointed curator of the Kunst Palast Museum in Düsseldorf, invited the world to bring altars from their countries. But a cloud of controversy hovered over the project. Altars from around the globe are on show at the museum until January 6 2002 in an exhibition entitled Altars: art to kneel down to.

Zeremonieller Pavilion

Altars are perceived by the religious as holy vestibules. Devotees can communicate with their gods at the altars. 'They are not showpieces' say some. Others, like Jean Hubert Martin, General Director of Kunst Palast Museum, agree but add that altars the world over highlight the religious aspect of a community and like art, are a source of inspiration for many.

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