- Title: Salgado's Amazonia photos beamed on Assisi basilica to warn of threat
- Date: 23rd September 2019
- Summary: RAIN FALLING / PROJECTOR
- Embargoed: 7th October 2019 11:40
- Keywords: Sebastiao Salgado United Nations Climate Conference Basilica of St. Francis
- Location: ASSISI, ITALY
- City: ASSISI, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Living / Lifestyle,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA007AXVPCUX
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Hundreds of people braved a driving rain on Sunday night (September 22) to see pictures of the Amazon by famed Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado projected onto the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.
The black-and-white photographs showed native peoples of the Amazon as sombre classical music by 20th century Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos played in what almost seemed like a requiem for the parts of the Amazon that have already been lost to deforestation and mining.
The Assisi event, one of many being held around the world to draw attention to climate change and other environmental issues, took place on the eve of the climate summit at the United Nations.
It was held at the birthplace of the Roman Catholic saint revered around the world for his defence of creation.
St. Francis wrote the Canticle of the Sun, the prayer in praise of creation that refers to Brother Sun and Sister Moon and is a reference point for Catholic and non-Catholic environmentalists.
Salgado said he has worked on the project for the past seven years and had lived among 12 tribes of the Amazon.
He said Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro could not be held totally responsible for the destruction of the Amazon because it had started decades ago. But he faulted the president for farming policies that he said had sped up the process.
Pope Francis, who took his name from the saint and has made many appeals for protection of the environment, wrote an encyclical in 2015 named "Laudato Si," (Praised Be), the words that start several of the stanzas of the saint's famous prayer.
Salgado welcomed a meeting of Amazonian Catholic bishops at the Vatican next month to discuss the Church's future in the region and said it should discuss ways to introduce a lasting economic model to protect the rainforest.
"Otherwise, it will never be protected. We will lose the forest. It may be in 10 years or it may be in 20 years, but we will lose it," he said.
(Production: Antonio Denti, Oriana Boselli, Eleanor Biles)
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