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Rome Reports

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Sistine Chapel: 25 years after its spectacular restoration

It has been 25 years since the restoration of one of the most fascinating places in the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel.

Restoring the frescoes started in 1980. Interestingly, it took more years to restore them than to paint them, since Michelangelo took only nine years, and restorers, 13.

The smoke, dust, arabic gum and oil used for other restorations, had eaten the original colors of the walls.

They used scaffolding similar to what Michelangelo used, and supported them in the same holes the Renaissance genius left behind.

Much of the cost was covered by the Japanese channel "Nippon Television Network Corporation," which delivered 4.2 million dollars in exchange for three years of exclusive rights to photos and video. Those rights expired in 1997.

To preserve the memory of the work, the experts left some points in the original way, so the difference could be appreciated.

With this ceremony in 1994, John Paul II showed the world the spectacular result of 13 years of work.

John Paul II asked those who admire this chapel, to rediscover "the religious perspective that inspired Michelangelo and is still valid," as it favors "the development of unity and authentic peace among the peoples of the world."