Datebook: May 21 - Michelangelo's Pieta Attacked 40 Years Ago

May 21, 2012

Michelangelo's Pieta is housed in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, commissioned for the French cardinal Jean de Billheres in 1498, to be his funeral monument. It's a famous masterpiece, renown for its classic beauty and naturalism, and emotionally moving scene of the body of Jesus resting in the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. It's also the only piece Michelangelo ever signed. 

On this day in 1972, it suffered substantial damage when a mentally disturbed Hungarian man named Laszlo Toth walked into the chapel and attacked the statue with a hammer while shouting, "I am Jesus Christ!" He got in fifteen blows before bystanders pulled him away. Since the attack, the statue underwent painstaking restoration and is now protected by bullet-proof acrylic glass.  Laszlo was never charged for the crime, and instead was committed to a psychiatric hospital.

It’s Monday, May 21

The Hopkinsville League of Women Voters host a Forum on Christian County Public Schools:  Challenges Ahead during its noon meeting Friday.  Guest panelists include Brady Link, Rim Watson, and Janie Tomek.  The public is welcome with lunch reservations at 270-885-6554.  It’s at Miss Ann’s Café, 1610 South Main.

This week the McCracken County Public Library hosts a Teacher’s Discovery Traveling Exhibit featuring the drawings of illusionist M.C. Escher and paintings of Vincent Van Gogh.  Large reproductions of their artworks are all over the library today through Friday.  The library’s at 555 Washington Street in Paducah.

Today’s the last day to take the Budget Reductions Public Survey that Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area has online at under Alerts and Notices.  LBL needs to find a million dollars in savings.  Review potential options and provide ideas for the future of facilities and roads.

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