SOUTH SALT LAKE — A benefactor wishing to express his gratitude for the exceptional care provided to a family member by St. Mark's Hospital has arranged for a generous gift — the loan of a full-sized, nearly exact replica of Michelangelo's La Pieta.

On Tuesday, Joseph Bishop loaned the replica to St. Mark's Hospital.

This famous work of art depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother, Mary, after the Crucifixion. The original La Piet?can be found in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

The replica loaned by Bishop is licensed by the Vatican Observatory Foundation. The marble sculpture is faithful to the original in its detail and subtlety. Its premier unveiling occurred in January 2010 during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City.

This is believed to be the first time it has been displayed in a health care venue anywhere in the world.

The public is invited to personally experience the sculpture until the end of the year in the main lobby at St. Mark's Hospital, 1200 E. 3900 South.