New Installation at Vatican Museums: Two Priests
The Vatican Museums have one of the greatest collections in the world, and the overlap of masterpieces by Michelangelo, Raphael, Giotto, Caravaggio and scores of other artists (not to mention the rooms packed with classical sculpture) can be quite overwhelming. So starting in August the Vatican is making two priests available to museum visitors, whether they are looking for spiritual advice or more basic iconographic information about the subject matter of a work of art.
The priests will be in “two strategic points” of the museums, according to an article last week in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, which presented the project devised by Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City. Presumably, the priests will not be inside the Sistine Chapel, where recorded announcements shush chatty visitors on a regular basis (though the Osservatore Romano article implied that Michelangelo’s “Last Judgment” was wont to thrust spectators into existential crises, requiring the services of a pastor).
Bishop Sciacca told the newspaper that the identity of the Vatican Museums was rooted in the Christian message, “announced to the world” through the artworks within, welcoming people of all faiths and nationalities. [more]