January 2, 2011.
Each photograph captures a moment in time, a reminder of its
uniqueness. The priest Giuseppe Colombara understands this well, he
is director of photographic services for L'Osservatore Romano. Being
aware of the great heritage that the Vatican newspaper has on hand,
he decided to make the jump into new technologies and digitize its
more than seven million negatives.
These millions of snapshots from public and private moments of the
popes are at risk of being lost if damaged. These photos have a great
importance, such as this one of Pius XII before the damage from the
bombing of the Roman district of San Lorenzo in 1943.
Or this photo, when John Paul II met with Ali Agca, the Turkish
terrorist who tried to assassinate him in 1981.
Photographic Service L'Osservatore Romano
years ago, we confirmed some damage was done to the photographs, we
then found the need to overcome these difficulties and save these
images. The problem was financing the project.”
money is not a problem, thanks to the support of two sponsors who
The process will take about five years which
the digitization of photographs, as
the renovation of some rooms to create a microclimate that will
paper photos from
its main enemies
of light, bacteria, and the passage of time.Fr.
Director, Photographic Service L'Osservatore
direct light is also one of the most damaging agents of
photographs, even though the
film has already
because the negative is a very sensitive type
gelatin coated film. When you vary some of these atmospheric
as well as bacteria and acids from
it more difficult in
this process of care.”
most advanced technology used
in the care of this
humanity, and the Vatican.