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Rome Reports

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Biagio Biagetti: One of the first people to help restore the Sistine Chapel

The Italian painter Biagio Biagetti directed the restoration of the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel between 1933 and 1936. He set the standard for restoration artists throughout the world. And now journalist Paolo Ondarza is telling his story in a new book. PAOLO ONDARZA Author, "Verití  e bellezza. La via pulchritudinis in Biagio Biagetti â? "Discusses the days on scaffolding in the Sistine Chapel, face to face with Michelangelo's frescoes. The thrill of being face to face with Michelangelo and rebuilding something from this greatly respected artist. So much that he 'sensed' the frescoes. He had the intuition of how colorful and beautiful the frescoes could be. And now we can see it.â? In the book, the Vatican Radio journalist also explains the religious art of Italian painter Novecento. He even took a tour of his private files. PAOLO ONDARZA Author, "Verití  e bellezza. La via pulchritudinis in Biagio Biagetti â? "For me it has a special meaning because I discovered it fifteen years ago. And when I started working at the Vatican, I realized they were relevant works for our time." Biagio Biagetti belonged to a family of fishermen. However, from a young age he had a passion for painting. His first sketches were on the back of his father's receipts.  PAOLO ONDARZA Author, "Verití  e bellezza. La via pulchritudinis in Biagio Biagetti â? "I've been able to consult their journals because I had the very great fortune of meeting the painter's daughter. She opened her home and showed me these diaries. They show the reality of the painter. That desire to make art inspired by tradition but portraying more intimacy." The Italian painter was a crucial figure in the Vatican. He directed the Vatican Museums for 10 years and one of his primary responsibilities was  restoring the Sistine Chapel. MPI/ATO AA JM -PR Up:KLH