Nothing we make or do can last for eternity
As it is reported, a man climbed over the guardrail of the chapel of the Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica and wheeled a hammer to the Madonna's left arm, it sheared off. He also smashed the nose and left eyelid of the marble sculpture. A work which took a toll of the young Italian sculptor for over two years.
Michelangelo's feat was that he encased both figures as one piece and the marble's grain had to be precise in every aspect so that the Virgin's lap was the center of balance. Here is were her son lay.
Yet, in the frenzy, in the assailant's quest for infamy, his actions proved the power which art possess, that is of its beholden truth, in its self sacrifice, in the blisters and weeping nights. From a block of stone, the form, the expression and weight conceptualized in the mind before Michelangelo wheeled at the marble with his chisel. The man found that by attempting to destroy an irreplaceable masterpiece, it could reflect on the fragility of man, and his man-made objects. In seconds, parts of the sculpture was reduced to dust. Nothing we make or do can last for entity.
The damaged Pietà by Michelangelo, 1499
Marble 68.5 × 76.8 in
St. Peter's Basilica, Rome
Left: The 33 year old assailant striking the Pietà, in May of 1972 at the St. Peter's Basilica, Rome