Standing In the Courtyard of the Pinecone at the Vatican Museum is a tall contemporary sculpture known as Sfera con Sfera or Sphere within a Sphere. It is the work of Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro, born June 23, 1926. He is known for his geometric bronze works and his sculptures often contain tears or stalagmite –like features, making them appear to be in the process of transforming into something else. Pomodoro based in Milian began in the 1960s sculpting his sphere within a sphere series in a variety of scales, from monumental outdoor commissioned pieces to small, handheld works. Each sphere is fractured revealing an intricate interior and another cracked sphere inside. Pomodoro had initially studied stage design and  goldsmithing, became an admirer of Picasso and met artists like Lucio Fontana, Franz Kline,  Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol. In the 1960s he became an artist in residence at Stanford University, then UC Berkeley and Mills College. He has won prestigious international prizes for sculpture and is known for his controversial fiberglass crucifix at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with its fourteen-foot diameter crown of thorns hovering over the figure of Christ. His sculpture at the Vatican is a bronze globe over 13 feet in diameter and it appears golden in the sun. The internal layers seem to imitate the complicated gears or cogwheels of a complex machine such as a clock or the inner workings of a grand piano. It suggests a continual process of self-destruction and regeneration. Because of its round shape, it echoes the form of the Earth and gives the impression that it is reflecting the complexity and fragility of our world and how easily it can be torn apart. A different way of seeing the sculpture is that the inner sphere depicts our world with the other sphere depicting the Christian world with the many fractures or cracks symbolizing the fractures in the Christian world today. Pomodoro created numerous versions of the Sphere within a Sphere and they can be found at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, The U.N. Headquarter in New York, Mt. Sinai hospital in New York, Tel Aviv University in Israel, University of California, Berkeley, U.S. Tehran Museum in Iowa, Columbus Museum in Iowa, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C., the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, and the De Young Museum in San Francisco. Some of the more rebellious tour guides at the Vatican are known to give the sphere a spin. Some days the security guards just shrug their shoulders while on other days they wag their fingers or yell at the tour guides. Spinning the enormous sphere takes a lot of strength, but once it gets going it can continue spinning for 20 minutes