There's a restaurateur, one Joseph Chirico (Marco Polo restaurant in Carroll Gardens), who visits the old country quite frequently. He has connections. He knows the mob (he was indicted for money-laundering). He knows priests. He knows Borough Hall. Whatever. He was taken to the Basilica of St. Francis to view the Medieval artifacts on one of his trips, and he was moved.
They haven't been outside Italy for 700 years, which is to say they have never been outside Italy. People in general, Catholics and Italian Americans in particular, and Franciscans above all, should find these records of the Saint's life and work hugely important. It is lovely to see such an intimate exhibit. The 12th and 13th century texts manage to reach out to you however rusty your ecclesiastical latin.
The Pope, who chose his name for the Saint, is thinking of visiting us next year. Will he hole up in Le Bleu on Brooklyn's 4th Avenue?
Exhibit lasts until January 14th. It should then move to the United Nations on its only other stop before returning to Italy.
Borough Hall grid reference A6 on the zoom side of our Downtown edition map.