Thursday, January 24, 2013

Did the Vatican Ruin the Sistine Chapel Frescoes?

One of the most unforgettable spiritual and artistic experiences I’ve encountered in my life happened in the Sistine Chapel years ago. Straining my neck as fellow tourists did the same, I looked up at Michelangelo’s ceiling frescoes in awe—both at the wondrous expression of faith and at the sheer magnitude of human achievement. When I learned that my very breath and perspiration could contribute to the slow destruction of the frescoes, I felt sad. However, when I read Art Watch UK’s accusation that the Vatican undertook a 20-year restoration project of the frescoes “in full knowledge that the stripped-down bare fresco surfaces would thereafter be attacked by atmospheric pollution unless given some other protective covering” (which has not yet happened), I felt rage over the local mismanagement of a global cultural treasure. Did the Vatican ruin the Sistine Chapel frescoes? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Did the Vatican Ruin the Sistine ChapelFrescoes?"

[Image: Michelangelo. The Fall and Expulsion of Adam and Eve in the Sistine Chapel, before and after restoration. Image source.]

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