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Architecture: Renzo Piano designs pilgrimage church

Renzo Piano is one of Italy's most famous architects. He is nearing the end of building what will be one of the most famous, and the most visited, churches in the world -- a 7,000 seat basilica for one of Italy's most revered modern saints, Padre Pio. Our feature story link today will take you to a multi-media feast. You can watch the video clip (requires Real Media plugin) or simply read the report. Again this is something lighter for holiday enjoyment but I might make one provocative point: I part company with those "tent Catholics" who believe we should not be investing the enormous amount of money required for these sort of monuments. Despite all the advances in communication technology, architecture remains one of the most fundamental mediums of communication. Buildings do not simply shelter us from the elements. They help us reach down into our souls and up into heaven. An interesting disclosure in this report is that the Capuchin Friars who have commissioned this place of pilgrimage at San Giovanni Rotondo in Southern Italy are also investing a lot of money in a broadcast facility that will enable people the world over to share in the liturgies to be held there.

Channel 4

8 Jan 2003