Saturday, November 03, 2012

With between 10,000 to 30,000 tourists each day, Vatican may have to limit visitors to Sistine Chapel

Art Daily Newsletter

In this April 16, 2005 file photo, tables and chairs line the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in preparation for the conclave. AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, File.

By: Jean-Louis de la Vaissaire

VATICAN CITY (AFP).- As the Sistine Chapel celebrates its 500th anniversary, the Vatican said Wednesday it may have to limit the huge numbers of visitors because pollution is damaging Michelangelo's frescoes, one of the artistic wonders of the world. The scenes, including the moment in which God reaches out and gives life to Adam with the touch of his finger, are being damaged by the breath, sweat and heat of the 10,000 to 30,000 tourists who walk through the chapel every day. The Vatican had an air-conditioning system fitted during restorations in the chapel in the 1990s, but critics have warned that it is no longer sufficient to deal with the amount of dust and dirt being dragged in by today's visitors. Museums director Antonio Paolucci said a specialist company has been ... More

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