Venerdì, 21 Settembre 2018
VATICAN CITY

Vatican readying 'climate control' for Sistine Chapel

English
© ANSA

Vatican City, November 1 - The Vatican is set to
give the Sistine Chapel a new 'climate control' system to ease
the impact of the five million visitors lured by Michelangelo's
frescoes each year.
The "latest-generation system', to be created by "the
world's leading sector firm", will be in place by the end of
next year, Vatican Museum Director Antonio Paolucci said on
Wednesday's 500th anniversary of the inauguration of the vault
decoration by Pope Julius II.
Paolucci denied widespread reports that the Vatican was
planning on curbing visitor numbers.
"Although there are a set of concerns about the conditions
in the chapel, we won't be setting any quotas," he said.
"There aren't any real dangers to Michelangelo's frescoes
in the short term. But all those people, on some days more than
20,000, bring in risks with them: the dust that any visitor
carries, the rise in humidity and temperature, and the increased
levels of carbon dioxide due to breathing.
Paolucci said the museum would unveil the project and name
the company "in a matter of a few weeks.
"Then, since we have the funds, this new system should be
in place by the end of next year'.
The 500th anniversary, on Wednesday night, was marked by
Pope Benedict XVI celebrating a special Vespers ceremony, just
as his predecessor Julius had on October 31, 1512.
"It is the light of God that illuminates these frescoes and
the entire Sistine Chapel," he said.
Benedict cited assessments of the chapel's impact by two of
the greatest figures in art history, 19th-century German
Heinrich Woelfflin and 16th-century Italian Giorgio Vasari.
Woelfflin, he recalled, said: "Out of this immense fresco,
there plunged onto the history of Italian and European art
something comparable to a tempestuous mountain stream bringing
all at once happiness and devastation".
"Nothing was ever the same again," the pope said.
Vasari, in his famous 'Lives', remarked that "this work has
been and is still the true beacon of our art, which has wrought
so much benefit and light on the art of painting, which, itself
alone, illuminated the world," Benedict said.
"Beacon, light and illuminated, three words that must have
certainly been close to the heart of those present on October
31, 1512.
"But it was not only the light issuing from Michelangelo's
masterly use of colour and shade, or the movement that animates
the masterpiece: it is also the light of God which shines from
these frescoes," Benedict said.
Michelangelo completed his crowning achievement, Benedict
recalled, when, 20 years later, he came back to paint The Last
Judgement.
"That work concludes the great arc of humanity's path,
lifting the gaze to the peak of a reality of man and the world
which is also the definitive encounter with Christ the judge of
the living and the dead," said the pontiff.

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