Sistine Chapel Is Newly Dusted

Aide Stresses Need to Protect Artwork

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 5, 2010 ( The director of the Vatican Museums reported that a routine dusting of the Sistine Chapel paintings has been completed, but he is urging an update to the chapel’s climate control system to preserve the artwork.

Antonio Paolucci told L’Osservatore Romano that some 30 specialists worked during the night for about a month to remove the dust and sediment that accumulated over the past four years, since the last cleaning.

He noted that the restorers removed “an unimaginable amount of dust and sediment.”

Paolucci addressed some of the current challenges in preserving the artwork of the Chapel, which sees some 20,000 visitors every day.

The main problem, he said, is the “excessive human pressure,” due to an inadequate climate control system and “the insufficient elimination of the pollutants.”

“If we want to preserve the Sistine in acceptable conditions for the next generations, this is the challenge we must overcome,” Paolucci said.

If “there are not and will not be in our days new Michelangelos and new Raphaels,” he continued, “we can however allocate, for the conservation of the patrimony, resources of creativity and intelligence not inferior to those that these great figures used in making art.”

This is possible, the museum director affirmed, because “the opportunities offered by science and technology today are virtually infinite.”

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