There are no
specific testimonies concerning that new monument, but it seems
to have been of remarkable quality. When the construction of the
new basilica began, the monument was moved to the southern aisle.
In 1576 it was transferred again, this time to the northern aisle.
In 1606 the monument was dismembered and the remains of the pope
were placed in a simple sarcophagus in the grottoes, together with
those of his relative, Cardinal Rainaldo Orsini, the Archpriest
of the Vatican basilica (d. 1374).
restoration in the middle of the 20th century, the remains were
reburied in a sarcophagus that had been used to bury Pius II found
in 1607 during the construction of the basilica.
is divided into five compartments by little columns and low arches.
The 3 central compartments are more profound and the relief figures
are more accentuated, while the 2 lateral arches appear unfinished.
In the center is the representation of the Savior on a rock with
4 rivers springing from underneath. At His feet are 2 spouses who
may have originally been buried in the sarcophagus. To one side
is St Peter with the cross on his shoulder, receiving the scroll
with the new law; to the other side is St Paul, both are accompanied
by a disciple. The last scene to the left represents the Washing
of the Feet with Peter holding a towel sitting in front of Jesus
and a basin on the floor. To the right is Jesus in front of Pilate,
who is represented sitting on a Roman sella and holding a jar with
water to wash his hands. On the left is the coat-of-arms of the
Orsini family, probably from the original shrine. Above the sarcophagus
is the inscription from the old tomb with the names of the deceased.
RAINALDVS CARD. VRSINVS
HADRIANI DIAC. CARD.
BASILIC. VATIC. ARCHIPRESB.
Pope Nicholas III
Rainaldo Cardinal Orsini
Cardinal Deacon of St Hadrian
Archpriest of this Vatican Basilica