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Rome Reports

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The Swiss Guard as never seen before... and at the Vatican Museums

The Swiss Guard is the world's smallest professional army, and also, one of the most recognizable for its solemnity, its fidelity to the Pope ... and especially for its uniform. ANTONIO PAOLUCCI Director, Vatican Museums "I don't think that there is a single tourist in the world who comes to Rome not wanting to see or take a picture with a Swiss Guard. It is the most famous and popular army in the world.â? Now, an exhibition at the Vatican Museums shows what's behind one of the most peculiar and mysterious security bodies in the world.  FABIO MANTEGNA Photographer "At first I entered their lives little by little, but over time, we have become friends. They explained to me what their job consists of and I explained to them how to take photographs. It was a great collaboration.â? The photographs show the guards' everyday activities such as having lunch together, their physical workouts, and how they dress before leaving to do each duty.  The snapshots, of course, don't neglect to portray the man whom the guards swear to defend ... the Pope. They are photographs that prove that being a Swiss Guard is much more than just a job.  URS Breitenmoser Swiss guard "It goes beyond being a profession where you clock-in when entering in the morning and leaving in the afternoon. Our service goes far beyond. Many even discover the beauty of faith through catechesis for adults. It is a deep service despite all the difficulties that can be found, and it is also very rewarding to serve the successor of Peter.â? Until June 12, all of these photos will remain on display in the Vatican Museums. Also on display, are uniforms used for every occasion, such as when the Guard's band plays. AC/MP MM -SV -PR up: IPC