Pope Francis' Philadelphia papal carpet to be given away
By Emily Cummins | For NJ.com
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on September 25, 2015 at 6:51 AM, updated September 25, 2015 at 6:52 AM
RARITAN TWP. — If you want a piece of history from Pope Francis' 2015 visit to Philadelphia, this may be your chance.
Lining the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and stages for the World Meeting of Families Friday and Sunday's papal Mass on Benjamin Franklin Parkway is gold and white carpet from Hunterdon County's Flemington Department Store, which will be given away in sections as souvenirs to anyone who wants a piece.
Store owner Ted Resnick said that 20,000 pieces of carpet will be given away by email for free for a suggested donation of any amount to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Crews of 10 to 20 carpet layers from the store were onsite Thursday and Friday installing grey linoleum and white carpet that will be removed Saturday afternoon to make way for a midnight instillation of 10,000-square-feet of white and gold carpet at the same locations.
With a long resume of high profile events, Resnick has installed temporary carpet for three presidents — Obama, Bush and Clinton — and at events honoring the presidents of Mexico and France and the king of Sweden.
You may have seen his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan for its annual gala, over the ice in Rockefeller Center for the tree-lighting, the Orange Bowl in Miami, the MTV awards, the Tribeca Film Festival, in United Nations and the Empire State Building and even at Donald Trump's daughter's wedding in Far Hills.
But to Resnick, Pope Francis' visit to the United States is the "thrill of a lifetime."
"Working for the pope is the Super Bowl of our industry, and we've done it twice now," he said. In 2007, he installed carpeting in two venues for visits by Pope Benedict XVI.
"It puts the store in a different light," he said. "No one has done it in Hunterdon County or even New Jersey."
And giving away swatches of the carpet is Resnick's way of sharing the experience and giving back. After giving away the papal carpet in 2007, Resnick said he received inquiries from Canada and Europe and people shared how the keepsake comforted a dying brother, a widow and terminal patients in a children's hospital.
To get your own piece, contact Resnick at firstname.lastname@example.org.