Free for a Day: Catacombs and Vatican Museums

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 22, 2004 ( Entrance to the Vatican Museums and to the catacombs of Rome will be free next Sunday, as a gesture of the Holy See’s participation in the European Patrimony Days.

The event is an initiative of the Council of Europe, in which more than 40 countries take part annually.

The theme of this year’s celebrations is “Patrimonies From Afar, Patrimonies From Others.” The Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Goods of the Church, the Vatican Museums and the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology have collaborated in the program.

For the occasion, on Sunday the Asian section of the Missionary-Ethnological Museum of the Vatican Museums, now closed for restoration, will open a small and select exhibition, “A Look at the Gates of Asia.”

Entrance to Rome’s catacombs will also be free, the Vatican press office said today. At the St. Calixtus catacombs, on the Via Appia Antica, an exhibition will be opened entitled: “At the Origins of the Eucharist. Images and Signs between East and West.”

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