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    News from the Museums

We open late on Thursday 22 – but for a special reason!

On Thursday 22 December the doors of the Vatican Museums will be opened at 1. 30 p.m., to enable all staff to accept the Holy Father's invitation to all employees of the Holy See to attend a special audience dedicated to them.
The Directorate would like to apologise to visitors for any resulting inconvenience, and wishes a Holy Christmas to all.

The Vatican Museums in Russia for the first time

An exhibition of forty-two Vatican masterpieces will be held from 25 November 2016 to 19 February 2017 in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.
"Roma Aeterna" is the title of the exhibition, which will take to the Russian capital for the first time a large number of works of inestimable value from the permanent collection of the Vatican Picture Gallery in the Pope’s Museums.
"The Vatican Museums, by granting these loans of extraordinary importance, from Bellini to Raphael, from Melozzo to Caravaggio, wish to express an act of gratitude with regard to Russia's long-standing love of Roma Aeterna", stated the Director Antonio Paolucci.
Presentation of exhibition by A. Paolucci

Castel Gandolfo: the Papal Apartment opens to the public

The Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo are increasingly accessible to visitors. Following the opening to the public of the Barberini Garden and the inauguration, within the Apostolic Palace, of the Museums of the Gallery of the Portraits of the Pontiffs, from 22 October the most private and reserved areas of the papal residence can also be admired and enjoyed by pilgrims and tourists. Many of the exclusive places in the Papal Apartment will be revealed to visitors: from the Bedchamber to the Private Chapel, from the Library to the Study, along a rich exhibition itinerary conceived, arranged and managed by the Vatican Museums. Press Release
Info: - Book your tour - Calendar 2016 Apostolic Palace
Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo: discover the full tour option!

"Beauty unites us"

On 20 September, the Vatican Museums attended in Beijing the first edition of the three-day event Silk Road International Cultural Expo: an important annual appointment for the “promotion of the cultural exchanges between nations and regions along the Silk Road, with the spirit of the ancient caravan route of peace and cooperation, openness and integration, mutual knowledge and mutual benefit”. Represented by Msgr. Paolo Nicolini, Managing Director, and by Fr. Nicola Mapelli, curator of the Ethnological Museums, the Pope’s Museums demonstrated how artistic beauty in all its expressive forms may unite the peoples of the earth in a single great embrace. Tangible signs of this renewed openness and reciprocal recognition were offered by, on the symbolic day of Friday 21 October, the concert of popular Chinese music at the Guangzhou Opera House and the calligraphic works of the artist Cui Zimo: a meaningful gift that further enriches the already great gift of Pope Francis, of opening to the public the entire Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.
Msgr. P. Nicolini's speech at the Silk Road International Cultural Expo

Exactly six years after the beginning of works, the restoration of "some of the most beautiful angels of Roman Baroque" comes to an end: eight models in raw earth, planned and modelled between 1661 and 1674 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini himself for the bronze figures of the Angels and the Saints of the Altar of the Cathedra and of the Most Holy Sacrament in St. Peter’s.
After being the protagonists of a conservation intervention, innovative in terms of the techniques and materials used, the works leave their "transparent workshop" – the first visible to the public in the history of the Vatican Museums – to return to their original location, the Vatican Picture Gallery. First, however, they will be on extraordinary display from 16 November in Room XII, for the exhibition "Giovan Lorenzo Bernini and his models".
The visitors will be guided in the discovery of these masterpieces – displayed along with another seven models in terracotta, for different works by the same artist – by detailed display panels on Bernini's creative project and on the phases of the restoration masterfully executed by F. Callori, A. Baltera and F. Cuozzo under the supervision of Antonio Paolucci and the scientific direction of Arnold Nesselrath.
The models on display, of the angels and the heads of the Fathers of the Church, are the property of the Fabric of St. Peter and have been conserved in the Vatican Museums since 1980.
The restoration - Presentation of the exhibition

The Vatican Museums are organising the "Second Vatican Coffin Conference" in the context of the Vatican Coffin Project. From 6 to 9 June 2017 international scholars of note will deliver papers on different topics concerning Egyptian decorated wooden coffins.
Sessions will also be dedicated to discussion of the results of the analyses applied to the study of coffins. The technique is, in fact, part of a wider context, which naturally implies other artefacts, a certain environment, a social and economic context, a particular moment in history, an ideology, and a certain level of progress.

Thursdays in the Museums

Thursday in the Museums on 15 December will present, in the Conference Hall, the experience and results of "The Struggle of Jacob": a formative project, both artistic and spiritual, promoted and organised by the Pontifical Gregorian University last summer in Cologne, in St. Peter's Church, with the aim of testing and putting into practice the dialogue between commission and artistic creation within a liturgical context.
A selection of the projects born of this unique collective endeavour will be presented in the prestigious environment of the Vatican Museums Collection of Contemporary Art.
Entrance upon invitation.

Innovation in the tradition of an Institution

"Case Study Vatican Museums" is the title of the workshop held on Friday 13 October, at the Campus of LUISS Business School in Rome, to study and analyse the case study by Oxford University dedicated to the Vatican Museums and the operation of managerial renovation, digitalisation and openness implemented in recent years, which has led to their becoming one of the world’s most visited museum complexes and a model of virtuous and successful management.
Programme - Abstract
Presentation by Barbara Jatta, Deputy Director of the Vatican Museums

We have your heart at heart!
18 defibrillators installed and more than 300 guards trained in first aid

In a place of emotion, wonder and participation such as the Vatican Museums, there is no lack of attention for the care and safety of visitors due to the development of a cardio-protection programme along the entire museum itinerary. Thanks to an innovative training project managed by the Vatican Directorate of Health and Hygiene, in collaboration with the Bambin Gesù Paediatric Hospital, the members of the Guard Corps will keep watch not only over the works of art but also the visitors, should they find themselves in need of first aid treatment with the use of a defibrillator. An alliance between culture, technology and safety for a serene and protected tour experience.

Keep your ticket. An invitation for you to a truly special Palace!

Take advantage of a promotion, valid until 31 December, to visit the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo and its Gallery of Portraits of the Pontiffs. A special entry fee of 8 Euros is reserved to all those who can present at the entrance in Piazza della Libertà a ticket or booking for a visit to the Vatican Museums. If on the other hand you are already at Castel Gandolfo and have participated in a guided tour of the Barberini Garden of the Pontifical Villas, keep your ticket and conclude your itinerary at the Apostolic Palace, at the reduced fee of 5 Euros!



For the first time the great painter and etcher Rembrandt, the Protestant master from Leiden, arrives in the Pope's Museums, in the heart of Roman Catholicism, with an exhibition of 55 prints from the Zorn Museum in Sweden and a painting on canvas from the Dutch Kremer Collection.
The curators of this special homage to the Dutch genius are Arnold Nesselrath, delegate of the Department of Arts of the Vatican Museums, and Johan Cederlund, director of the Zorn Museum.
This exceptional exhibition project – a cultural and ecumenical event of historical import, also in the aftermath of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden for the five-hundredth anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation – has been made possible thanks to the special collaboration of the Embassies of Sweden and the Kingdom of the Netherlands at the Holy See.
Essay by Arnold Nesselrath

Following the volumes published in 2002 and 2012 dedicated respectively to "black figure" Attic ceramics and those of non-Attic production, the Vatican Museums now publish a new scientific catalogue on one of the most prestigious Vatican collections: the Astarita Collection in the Gregorian Etruscan Museum (donated by Mario Astarita to Pope Paul VI in 1967). The entire collection of Attic "red figure and black paint" ceramic production will be illustrated for the first time: more than 400 artefacts, including vessels and fragments, are studied, catalogued, classified, described and graphically rendered with historic method and scientific rigour (Edizioni Musei Vaticani, 2016).


Greetings from the Director

Dear Visitors, firstly, a cordial welcome from the Director of the Vatican Museums. Second, you are entering into one of the most important sites for the history of human... [Continues]


Focus on the collections

Virtual online Tour of the Vatican Museums (explore the Sistine Chapel). [More]

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