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Rome Reports

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New plan for Vatican Museums: pilgrims instead of tourists

The Vatican's Minister of Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, proposed a plan to focus on emphasizing Rome's religious art with the goal of turning tourists into pilgrims.

President, Pontifical Council for Culture
The focus is not the sanctuary; it is not the physical place. The goal is to encounter the divine, the Mystery. And also to find oneself through the experience of inner conversion. In this case, when the journey and the goal are united, the true pilgrimage really begins.

Cardinal Ravasi explained his initiative during the meeting at the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See,entitled "Pilgrimage in a post-pandemic world", organized by Vida Nueva magazine and moderated by its director, José Beltrán, in Rome.

Isabel Celaà, the Spanish Ambassador to the Holy See, described her experience in Rome as transformative.

Ambassador of Spain to the Holy See
I was delighted to listen to Monsignor Ravasi because he is really good at explaining art from both an internal and external point of view. And this is the point. I believe that when every pilgrim goes to a strange land, he has to face not only the physical pilgrimage but also an internal one. And in this sense, these challenges make the pilgrim grow.

Every day some 20,000 people visit the Vatican Museums. It is the main source of income for the Vatican City State, which was hit hard economically due to the pandemic restrictions. Now, as restrictions are lifted, the Vatican looks to attract more people to Rome as a pilgrims.