Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
In Germany’s Aachen Cathedral, the relics of a particularly timely-sounding saint have emerged. The Christian martyr’s name? Remarkably, Saint Corona.
The cathedral had pulled a 216 lb embellished gold, bronze, and ivory shrine holding the relics from storage with the plans of flaunting it this summer, in an exhibition dedicated to gold craftsmanship. While the show’s opening date is now uncertain, a conservator is meticulously cleaning the shrine to ensure it is ready for public eyes once the pandemic is over.
“Corona” means “crown” in Latin, and all coronaviruses — not just the novel strain that causes COVID-19 — take their name from the crown-like spikes that surround each particle. It’s not surprising that in recent weeks, Saint Corona has, no pun intended, gone viral. And on social networks and the media alike, she has also been lauded as the patroness of plagues and epidemics, an attribution that is likely untrue.
There is, in fact, a Saint Corona, who may have been killed as a teenager by the Romans in Syria for professing Christianity. But Candida Moss, a professor of theology at the University of Birmingham, told the National Catholic Reporter that she had never before been associated with epidemics. Those praying to Saint Corona should turn to Saint Edmund instead, patron of infectious diseases, Moss tweeted.
Still, some argue saints often acquire their patronage by accident or due to public consensus, making Saint Corona’s newly-minted title just as valid as any other. In any case, Aachen Cathedral hopes the shrine and relics will now garner increased attention once they can be exhibited.
“We have brought the shrine out a bit earlier than planned and now we expect more interest due to the virus,” Aachen Cathedral spokeswoman Daniela Loevenich told Reuters.
According to the New York Times, Corona’s relics were brought to Aachen by King Otto III in 997. They were held in a tomb in the Roman Catholic cathedral, built by Emperor Charlemagne in 803 and one of Europe’s oldest, before they were stored in the elaborate shrine in the 20th century.
Archeologists can now prove the Vikings made landfall in the Americas hundreds of years before Columbus reached the Bahamas.
This week, the National Gallery of Art finally acquired a major work by Faith Ringgold, the director of The Velvet Underground talks film, North America’s Hindu Nationalist problem, canceling legacy admissions, and more.
No Vacancy, curated by Jody Graf, will be on view from October 26 through November 8 at the school’s Kellen Gallery in New York City.
Sculptures of Oaxacan alebrijes, envisioned as guardians of the nation’s immigrant community, and catrinas, Day of the Dead skeletons, are now at Rockefeller Center.
“I am trying to keep the immediacy of my emotional experience while I’m painting.”
Art by Athena LaTocha, Wendy Red Star, Marianne Nicolson, Anita Fields, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith & Neal Ambrose-Smith, and more is on view through January 2022.
The intention behind the seemingly bizarre combination was, according to Attie, “to give visual form to the shared American and Brazilian reality of nationalistic divisions that defines our political present.”
Nowhere in the museums’ advertising blitzkrieg for the performance were we told to bring our wildfire-season masks as well as our covid masks, and covid masks don’t prevent smoke inhalation.