Pope Francis, on Wednesday, received the bronze sculpture and a helmet memorabilia of late Ayrton Senna through his niece, Bianca Senna.
The bronze sculpture of Senna’s face – the work on which started in 2016 – is prepared by the Brazilian racer’s niece and Bianca’s sister Paula Senna Lalli. She made the piece during her first pregnancy using her memories and photos as reference.
Bianca then gifted the sculpture along with a helmet memorabilia to Pope Francis Benedict XVI, early on Wednesday at Vatican City, as they mark 25-years of the legacy of the three-time F1 champion, Senna, in 2019.
“It was a very exciting day,” reflected Bianca. “It is an honor to be able to come to the Vatican and meet the Pope during Easter week to deliver such a special work from my sister Paula. He thanked and praised the bust.
“Today’s sermon was about asking God in the difficulties and this reminded me a lot of Ayrton, because he always did that. Our thanks also to Claudio Giovanonni, who knows my uncle’s faith as a fundamental part of his values and who has helped us to live this unique moment.”
Her sister Paula, who made the bust, couldn’t travel as she had her second child, but she said: “I was very honored to have my work delivered to Pope Francisco. I received with great pride the mission given by my grandmother.
“She wanted to affectionately portray the way she was remembered by her family. I accepted the challenge, even acknowledging the difficulty of the task: very few works of this type were approved by our families, especially by Dona Neyde, known for the high standard of demand.”