Vatican plans to restrict access to the Sistine Chapel Automatic translate
Entrance to the Sistine Chapel, which these days marks its 500th anniversary, may be limited. This was announced by the Vatican on Wednesday, citing the fact that a huge number of visitors harm the unique fresco of Michelangelo, considered one of the artistic wonders of the world. The scene in which God reaches out and gives life to Adam through the touch of a finger is currently suffering greatly from the breath, sweat and warmth of tourists. Every day, from 10 to 30 thousand tourists visit the chapel.
The air conditioning system in the chapel was installed during the restoration in the 1990s, but critics warn that this measure was no longer enough to cope with the amount of dust and dirt that visitors carry today. The director of the museum, Antonio Paolucci, proposed to specialists to develop a new air purification system. But, if a solution is not found until next year, the Vatican authorities will be forced to reduce the number of tourists.
Michelangelo spent almost 4 years creating the famous fresco on the ceiling of the chapel. Today, a visit to the Sistine Chapel is included in almost all excursion programs in Rome. The chapel itself was built by order of Pope Julius II, who personally spent the evening service here on the day of its opening, October 31, 1512. The current Pope Benedict XVI also performed a service here yesterday, thus marking the 500th anniversary of the monument of art and history. Today, the chapel is used by Catholic cardinals as a meeting place for the process of electing a new pope. On ordinary days, the chapel is one of the most visited relics in the world, where, nevertheless, they try to maintain the atmosphere of prayer seclusion in spite of the hordes of tourists and photographers (incidentally, photography in the Sistine Chapel is prohibited).
To personally see almost 2500 square meters of the colorful fresco of Michelangelo, which he began in 1508, sometimes you have to spend several hours in line. The Vatican has already voiced the idea of limiting the number of visitors, since the chapel is an active religious site. But after one of Italy’s leading literary critics publicly condemned such a decision, the situation escalated again. In an open letter published in the leading newspaper Corriere Della Sera, Pietro Citati said that the chapel could become a place of “unimaginable catastrophe” because tourists behave like “drunken herds” and “any form of contemplation becomes impossible”. Antonio Paolucci in his statement replied that “those days when only Russian grand dukes and English lords could access the great masterpieces certainly passed”, but on Wednesday admitted that the Vatican would most likely simply have no choice in this issue. The number of visitors to the Sistine Chapel will have to be limited.
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