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Rome Reports

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More tourists visit Vatican Museums, after election of Pope Francis

ANTONIO PAOLUCCIDirector, Vatican Museums“People who come to Rome to see the Pope, to be present at his audiences and his Angelus prayers are the same people that then visit the Museums. They have to endure often extremely long lines to see the Sistine Chapel, to get a glimpse of the extraordinary masterpieces the Catholic Church has gathered over many centuries.”One of the main challenges the Vatican Museums have to deal with, is the preservation of the Sistine Chapel frescoes. Pollution and over 25,000 daily visitors can take its toll and even pose a threat. ANTONIO PAOLUCCIDirector, Vatican Museums“The excessive number of visitors increases humidity, not to mention carbon dioxide. These factors can trigger long term damage that harm the frescoes and make their conservation challenging. So, we?re working on designing a new air conditioning system that protects the frescoes from this.” The challenge can seem overwhelming. But Paolucci says it?s all worth it, if it allows future generations to appreciate the Sistine Chapel in the years ahead. VIC/RCarr/KLH MG-NR-PRUp:SCar