From April 1 to May 15, 2011 an exhibition on Gaudí is being held in the Vatican City – Gaudí and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona: Art, science and spirituality.

The exhibition tells the story of the famous Basilica and the artist who conceived it (Gaudí was a devout Catholic). The Sagrada Familia was a work of faith to the architect who stopped working on any other prjects in 1915 to dedicate his final years of output to it.

Not only Gaudí but “the presence of Catalunya in the world and work of the Catalan Church in faith and culture” are explained in the exhibition stated the Archbishop of Barcelona, Lluís Martínez Sistach.

Curated by the art critic Daniel Giralt-Miracle, the exhibition has been mounted “not as comprehensive statement, but an introduction, seduction and explanation, to join up the dots between Barcelona, Catalunya and Gaudí,” he has stated.

Although it was conceived before the Pope’s visit to Barcelona, the exhibition also reflects the impact of the visit and the attention it drew to the Basilica. There has been an increase in visitors of 23% between 8 and 30 November over the same period last year, and of that percentage, 43% are Catalans. The demand for handsets in Catalan for audio-guide tours increased tenfold. Of course, this may also reflect the fact that for the first time the interior is complete and truly accessible, no longer is it a building site.