La Nona Ora


Polyester resin, human hair, fabric, clothing, accessories, stone and carpet

Variable dimensions

Presented on a bright red carpet, La Nona Ora, a famous sculpture by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan in the Pinault Collection, depicts Pope John Paul II being struck down by a meteorite. The title echoes the story of Christ, who, at the "ninth hour" of his ordeal, cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” With strikingly realistic staging, Cattelan questions the power of religion over death.

Direct and violent, La Nona Ora caused a scandal. In Catholic Poland, a museum director was forced to resign. Born in 1960, Cattelan is famous for neo-pop works that summon up world famous symbolic figures such as the Pope or Hitler. Unlike American Duane Hanson’s hyperrealism, his works, combining technical perfection and humour, are incongruous.

La Nona Ora was first shown by the Pinault Collection during the 2009 exhibition "Qui a peur des artistes ?" (“Who’s Afraid of Artists?”) at the Palais des Arts in Dinard.