This photo shows Martin Luther King together with his collaborator Ralph Abernathy on a visit to Rome on September 17, 1964. The day after, the US civil rights leader was received by Pope Paul VI; in the same year ML King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize by the Norwegian Committee. The two are posing along the colonnade of Piazza San Pietro. When Alexander VII Chigi decided to refurbish St. Peter’s Square, he commissioned the project to Bernini who at the beginning of 1656 began to study a solution to various problems. In fact, in addition to deciding which buildings to demolish to carry out the work, he also had to solve an aesthetic problem: the facade of the basilica created by Carlo Maderno was too wide compared to the height, therefore the visibility of Michelangelo’s dome and that of the palaces had to be guaranteed apostolic. He also had to take into account that the square would have to contain a large number of faithful and therefore it would have to guarantee ease of inflow and outflow. For all these reasons, the design took 11 years of work and thanks to the positioning of the first series of 284 columns in parallel and in two hemicycles at the end, the final result can be described more as a sculpture than an architectural work.

  • Year: 1964
  • Photographer: Mario Torrisi
  • Location: St. Peter’s Square
  • Source: Internet