Tagliaferri, 41, spent much of two years creating his marble interpretation of "
Busloads of blind and disabled people from throughout
"There are so many messages . One is that a block of marble isn't ruined when it is lightly touched by expert hands," he said. "Second, the disabled are sick and tired of waiting for others to decide and tell them what they can and cannot do."
In May 2008, Tagliaferri visited the Sansevero Chapel, eager to experience its famous "Veiled Christ" in the only way a blind person can: by touching it. He was blocked, he said, first by a guard and then by the administration, despite his protests that he was a professional sculptor who would do no damage.
Now, he is savouring a triumphal return to
Blind since the age of 14, Tagliaferri was studying furniture restoration and working at a switchboard when he joined an experiment to test whether sight is necessary for sculpturing. The answer changed his life.
Since then, he has worked with master sculptors in