In 1854, Pope Pius IX declared in a papal bull named Ineffabilis Deus that the Blessed Virgin Mary was free of original sin. Every year since the proclamation, Mary’s Immaculate Conception has been celebrated by Catholics on December 8. In 1857, this Column of the Immaculate Conception was erected in Piazza Mignanelli. On top of the 38.7 foot Cipollino marble column is a bronze sculpture of Mary crafted by Giuseppe Obici. Interestingly, the Corinthian column dates from antiquity and was uncovered in 1777. It was originally crowned with a statue of the goddess Minerva. At the base of this Marian monument are sculpted biblical figures of Moses, King David, Osaiah and Seer Ezekiel.