St. Peter’s Basilica Lights Up With Massive Animal Light Show

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TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images

The Vatican is lending itself to environmentalism with a special public art installation timed to coincide with the final stretch of climate negotiations in Paris.

On Tuesday night, the facade of St. Peter's Basilica was turned into a massive backdrop for a photo light show about nature organized by several humanitarian organizations.

Images of lions and leopards, vivid birds, monkeys and more were projected on buildings in the Vatican Tuesday night.

The initiative, featuring images by National Geographic and well-known photographers including Sebastiao Salgado, is similar to ones that used the U.N. headquarters and the Empire State Building in New York as backdrops.

Pope Francis has strongly backed the environmental cause, issuing a landmark encyclical in which he blasted the fossil-fuel-based economy for impoverishing much of humanity and destroying the planet.

Organizers offered the installation as a gift to Francis to mark his Holy Year of Mercy, which began Tuesday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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