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Pope sends condolences for victims of Turkish cargo jet crash

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Pope Francis to meet with Palestinian president on Saturday

January 11, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas on Saturday, January 14, at the Vatican to inaugurate the new Palestinian embassy to the Holy See.
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Pope approves new decrees for the Causes of Saints

December 22, 2016. On Wednesday, December 21, Pope Francis authorized the following decrees for the Causes of Saints:

A 'Hospital for Books' right in the center of Rome

2013-07-24

What happens to ruined or damaged books? How are they cured from a partial fire, water or the most dreadful of enemies: insects?

Thankfully, type of 'Roman hospital for books' takes care of this issue, right in the center of Rome. It's the 'Istituto Centrale di Patologia del Libro', which roughly translates to 'Central Institute for Book Pathology'. 

It has come a long way since it was first founded in 1938. Nowadays, it collaborates with various institutions such as the Vatican Library and its Archives. The center boasts the most modern 'operating theaters' in the business with the latest technology that can solve the most difficult issues in book preservation.

MARIA CRISTINA MISITI
Director, ICPAL
 "We have various labs, which have obviously evolved a lot from how they were back in 1939. Now they have cutting edge equipment where we can see to what extent the materials are decayed and how they can be restored and preserved.”

But the hospital isn't for everyone. The institute only welcomes exclusive 'patients.' Medieval manuscripts, ancient papyri and early printed books are among the most precious artifacts the staff deals with every day. 

Recently, the institute was even involved in the restoration of priceless Christianity texts, such as a portrait of Leonardo da Vinci and a 1,500 year old manuscript.

MARIA CRISTINA MISITI
Director, ICPAL
 "It was brought here by a bishop himself. It is a Gospel, and it contains all four texts even though it's missing some sections. It is written in gold and silver ink on parchment colored purple, and it is also illuminated. So it is an absolute masterpiece of 6th century craftsmanship. It's a truly incredible item.”

The Istituto's ultimate mission is the care and preservation of books. It recently unveiled its new museum, which includes a school and a complete library for both students and scholars.


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