On the Northwest border of Vatican City lies our third proposed section of the Gardens restoration project. Like the previous section of the Grotto of Lourdes, this area is located atop Vatican Hill and is a spectacular vantage point for a glimpse of Rome.
One of the most special pieces in this section is its namesake statue, which was donated by Mexico to Pope Pious XII in 1939. Its figurative program represents the foundation story of Our Lady of Guadalupe: the statue depicts the apparition of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe as it was miraculously revealed in Mexico City In the year 1531. The poor native Juan Diego stands, showing the sacred image of the Virgin that had appeared on his vestment, while the Franciscan Bishop Juan de Zumaraga kneels before it, bowing down as a witness to the miracle of the beautiful, sacred image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The Vatican grounds represent one of the greatest garden realms in the world because of the landscape, which was formed on hallowed ground and sewn with faith and hope. Many popes have prayed surrounded by the shrine of verdant silence. Pope John XXIII often reflected in the gardens as he prepared and lead the church through the Second Vatican Council. John Paul II often invited young people to pray the rosary with him at the Lourdes shrine atop the Vatican Gardens. Pope Benedict XVI was also known to pray his rosary here on a daily basis.
STATE OF PRESERVATION:
Although many of the degradation problems of the works were similar, there were different levels of deterioration between the pieces due to specific factors of corrosion relating to: placement (major or minor exposure to sunlight and rainfall), constituent materials, and the presence of previous restorations and/or the reassembly of fragments or parts of the works.