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Rome Reports

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Vatican Museum opens new hall dedicated to mankind and the sea

Fr. Nicola MapelliCurator, Vatican Museum“For us it was very important to choose something that could symbolize the unity and difference of all cultures around the world. ; Because the point is that when a visitor comes inside the Vatican Museum he must feel welcome.”One can follow the circular footpath leading past model boats from Fiji, China, and England, to name a few. The ramp takes visitors on a quick tour of the seafaring world before arriving at the entrance of the museum.Fr. Nicola MapelliCurator, Vatican Museum“The boat has always symbolized the desire of man to go beyond the boundary of his or her own nation, to go beyond boundaries to meet new people and new cultures.”The boats were sent as gifts to the Vatican, many to Pope Pius XI during the 1920?s for a similar exhibit that was held in 1925. ;They are meant to represent the curiosity and respect of the Catholic universe toward non-European cultures. The nautical theme also symbolizes the Church of Rome as “Peter?s Boat” on their journey towards salvation for everyone.Fr. Nicola MapelliCurator, Vatican Museum “He must feel that Vatican Museum is about all the world, not just about Western World, not just about Sistine Chapel, not just about Raphael, so if someone comes from Japan, Asia, Africa or America, he can feel at home.”The exhibit, which took a year and a half to complete, is now open to the public, proving that not only roads by land lead to Rome, but also by sea. ; ; ;AERRJM-BN