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Pope Francis

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Patrons of the Art: Caretakers of the Vatican’s most prestigious art


...But few people know that beauty of these pieces depends on work from a special group.

Rev.Mark Haydu
International Coordinator, Patrons of the Art

The Patrons of the Art is an organization that was founded in 1983 that supports the restoration of the Vatican Museums. So, supporting financially the money it takes to restore all these wonderful pieces that are timeless but that need human attention in order to remain timeless.”

The donations go directly to restoring some of the most prestigious works of art in the Vatican. In the Pauline Chapel, for example, they are working on one of Michelangelo’s last works before his death in 1564.

Rev.Mark Haydu
International Coordinator, Patrons of the Art

Michelangelo was called there to do the last two frescoes on the wall and then passed away shortly after finishing those. So it’s a special sight into the elderly or aging Michelangelo and we’re uncovering some beautiful things.”

Part of being a patron comes with privileges. When they visit Rome, for example, they enjoy special treatment like skipping long lines in the museums and behind the scenes tours.

Though the majority of the patrons are art enthusiasts from the United States, Father Mark says people’s love for the arts transcends cultural borders, and he sees it in the diversity of donors that contribute to the Vatican Museums.

Rev.Mark Haydu
International Coordinator, Patrons of the Art

"There’s Catholics, there’s non-Catholics and Christians, and even Muslims and Jewish people who support the arts, who recognize the value of these perennial works of beauty for culture and for man."  

Father Mark hopes that the Patrons of the Arts can continue to spark interest for the Vatican’s timeless treasures while playing an important role in conserving their beauty.