Sistine Chapel’s visitors to pass through vacuum
THE VATICAN, Rome
The Sistine Chapel features 300 figures painted across 2,500 square meters. The new system will prevent those figures from possible damages by visitors. ABACAPRESS photoMillions of tourists flocking to the Sistine Chapel each year will be required to pass through a vacuum system to remove dust, fibres, skin flakes, hair and other tiny particles before viewing the renowned frescoes, British daily Telegraph has reported. Vatican Museum Director Antonio Paolucci said the new hi-tech vacuum system is designed to ensure that visitors are free of environmental pollutants that might damage the 500-year old artwork that adorns the world’s most famous chapel.
Each visitor will be “dusted, cleaned and chilled,” Mr Paolucci said, adding that there will be a carpet that cleans visitors’ shoes, while side vacuums will suck dust from clothes and cool temperatures to reduce heat and humidity that emanate from their bodies in the hot Rome weather.
The new system is expected to be ready sometime in mid 2013. Vatican officials said they are also working on a “virtual tour” that will allow a close-up view of the Sistine Chapel’s most famous works, which attract 20,000 tourists a day.
“It was something sooner or later we were going to have to address,” Mr Paolucci told the Corriere della Sera. “Dust, temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide are the biggest enemies of paintings.”
The chapel features 300 figures painted across 2,500 square metres by artists including Botticelli, Perugino and Pinturicchio as well as Michelangelo, whose Last Judgment fills the end wall.