The former Director of the Vatican Museums, Antonio Paolucci, has passed away at the age of 84.
Appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007, Paolucci was a world-renowned figure in art and known for his in-depth writing and studies on Michelangelo's Pietà.
He served as Director of the Vatican Museums for nine years and during that time, led the extensive restoration of the Gallery of Maps, ultimately returning it to its original 16th century appearance.
Former Director, Vatican Museums
There were 20 young professionals working on it and the restoration cost two million euros, entirely donated by various American Catholic associations.
Contemporaries said it was Pope Gregory XIII who ordered the paintings of the maps, because he wanted to visit Italy without leaving the Apostolic Palace. And this is the impression you get when you enter.
In a telegram, Pope Francis expressed his condolences and reflected on Antonio Paolucci's talent and “generous service” to the Vatican.