Vatican Museums and Catacombs: Free for a Day

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 22, 2005 ( Admission to the Vatican Museums and the catacombs of Rome will be free this Sunday, a gesture of the Holy See’s participation in European Heritage Days.

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The Heritage Days initiative, promoted by the Council of Europe, involves dozens of countries.

The programs promoted by the Holy See are dedicated to the theme “Memory and Identity: The Tradition of the Church in Intercultural Dialogue.” “Memory and Identity” is the title of Pope John Paul II’s last book.

The program of the events has been elaborated with the cooperation of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Goods of the Church, the Vatican Museums, and the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology.

Besides the free admission to the museums and the catacombs the program also includes an exhibition at the Pio Christian Museum, which is part of the Vatican Museums. The exhibition is entitled “The ‘Dogmatic’ Sarcophagus, or the Sarcophagus ‘of the two Testaments’: The Burgeoning Faith of the Church Transmitted in Images.”

On the same day an exhibition will be inaugurated in the Catacombs of St. Calixtus. It is entitled, “The ‘Traditio Ecclesiae’ in Intercultural Dialogue: Reflections on the Art of the Catacombs,” and will remain open until Oct. 31.

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