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Projections at Vatican Promote Climate Awareness

Lions and tigers appeared to walk across the facade of St. Peter's Basilica Tuesday night during an art installation to promote environmental awareness.

. Candles are projected on the facade of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Dec. 8, 2015.

The public art installation is designed to draw attention to climate change and endangered species.

Tiziana Fabi / AFP - Getty Images

. An image of a lion dominates Vatican Square.

The Vatican is lending itself to environmentalism with a display timed to coincide with the final stretch of climate negotiations in Paris.

Filippo Monteforte / AFP - Getty Images

. The light show has the blessing of Pope Francis, who released an encyclical on climate change earlier this year, said Louie Psihoyos, a curator and director of the film "Racing Extinction."

Tiziana Fabi / AFP - Getty Images

. Fifty giant projectors situated on huge towers turned the white facade of the basilica into a massive screen for colorful movie-like images of the world's creatures.

Riccardo De Luca / AP

. People gather in front of the basilica.

Riccardo De Luca / AP

. Stars appear to shoot across the facade of St. Peter's Basilica.

Riccardo De Luca / AP

. Organizers offered the installation as a gift to Francis to mark his Holy Year of Mercy, which began Tuesday.

The Vatican is seriously considering joining the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, eventually signing an agreement out of Paris and then coming up with a plan to reduce emissions for the Vatican City itself, said Archbishop Bernadito Auzo, the acting head of the Vatican delegation observing climate talks.

Alessandro Di Meo / ANSA via AP

. The team behind the project hopes the extravaganza will get people to pay more attention to the plight of the planet.

"You have to do something audacious to shock people ... to really grab their attention," Psihoyos said.

Tiziana Fabi / AFP - Getty Images

. The audience for the Vatican show was expected to surpass showings earlier this year that took place at the United Nations and the Empire State Building.

Filippo Monteforte / AFP - Getty Images