Knots from pope-blessed grotto find new purpose: insulation

AP News
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Posted: Oct 07, 2015 4:44 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An art installation blessed by Pope Francis during his trip to Philadelphia is being disassembled, but it will be repurposed to help the needy.

Officials said Wednesday that thousands of ribbons tied to a grotto will become insulation for a housing development for the homeless.

The grotto structure will be moved to the courtyard of a different affordable housing project.

The grotto was inspired by one of Francis' favorite paintings, "Mary, Undoer of Knots." It shows Mary untangling a long ribbon — a symbol for smoothing life's difficulties.

More than 110,000 visitors wrote their struggles on ribbons and tied them to the hollow, wooden grotto outside the city's downtown cathedral. The pope visited the site Sept. 27.

The art project was financed by the homeless advocacy group Project HOME.