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Rome Reports

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Vatican announces it will unveil secret archives of World War II in special exhibit

Card. Tarcisio Bertone Secretary of State, Vatican City "I want to take this opportunity to praise this highly prestigious project that trumps ; stereotypes on both sides of the Tiber." The documents of Galileo Galilei?s trial will be shown, as well as documents relating to World War II. ; There will also be a ; letter written by American Indians on an actual piece of tree bark that was sent to Pope Leo XIII. Choosing the documents wasn?t easy. ; The shelves in the Vatican?s Secret Archives run for ; 54 miles. ;Bishop Sergio Pagano Prefect, Vatican Secret Archives "We want the exhibit to show the consistency of the Vatican?s Secret Archives. On a geographical basis, we tried to represent all nations or at least all the continents. It includes a historical view from oldest to most recent, a religious view that?s not always limited to Catholicism.”The documents shown will be placed in glass cases to protect them from light and air. The exhibit alone is historic. But it will also be the first time these documents will be made accessible to the public. Gianni Alemanno Mayor of Rome "We must recognize the work of archivists in showing these documents, allowing them to leave the walls of the Vatican so they can go into the city. It?s a great act of transparency and a great gift to our city and to the entire world. It?s something that has never happened and we don?t know if it will ever happen again. ; I invite everyone to visit the exhibit because it?s one thing to talk about Frederick II or about Galileo Galilei and it?s another thing to read the records and see what really happened." Bishop Sergio Pagano Prefect, Vatican Secret Archives "This collaboration with the city of Rome came about because the Capitoline Museums are great. ; They?re easily accessible and they?re in the heart of Rome. They don?t need the metal detectors that we at the Vatican need. They are perfect for visitors who travel alone or in groups.”It?s a spectacular exhibition that will allow visitors to see first hand, the history and culture of the Church and of mankind. BR/KLH FFGdP-PN