Peter has come back to the Eternal City, as the Angel had ordered him to do, for Christ’s glory. Having reneged Jesus three times, Peter thought himself to be unworthy of being crucified like his Master. That is precisely why, in my opinion, his decision to let himself be crucified upside down was significant and epoch-making.
In the sculptural composition “The Apostle Peter Turned Upside Down” I represented the Roman soldiers who did not manage to turn him upside down: the Antichrists could not break his faith; by turning him upside down, they turned upside down themselves, so that the sky became for them the hell’s abyss, while the ground turned for Peter into a sky of liberty, in the same way as many things in this world are turned upside down…
The story of Peter’s crucifixion lays at the basis of the monument, and after two thousand years, thanks to sculpture, this story becomes an allegory. The image of Peter as the follower of Jesus on whom the Church has been built symbolizes also Christ himself, as this struggle against injustice, poverty, hunger and wars has been going on throughout the history of humankind… A struggle in which good is opposed to evil, but humankind’s authentic values remain unshakeable. This monument expresses spiritual vigour, courage, firmness and an unshakeable faith in Christ’s doctrine.
Through this monument I would like to cast a glance at life and history, using at once realistic methods and a renewed understanding of the Holy Scriptures.
Sculptor Nelson Afian