The Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel reopen after 88 days of closure

The Vatican museums will reopen their doors on Monday after a closure of 88 days, the longest since World War II. The director of the institution, Barbara Jatta, anticipated on Instagram that the Pontifical Galleries would return to activity after the long parenthesis forced by the coronavirus. Access is imitated to visitors who make a prior reservation through the institution’s website.

The gigantic pontifical museum houses the largest collection of art in the Catholic Church and is a powerful tourist magnet. Their main attraction is the famous Sistine Chapel, but they also include the Pontifical Villas and the Excavations under St. Peter’s Basilica.

Due to the pandemic, the Vatican Museums lost 90% of their income in 2020. From 7 million euros and 6.75 million visitors in 2019, they went to 1.3 million visits and just 700,000 euros a year later.

The closure has been used to carry out maintenance and restoration work. The 15th century frescoes on the side walls of the Sistine Chapel have been cleaned. The digital activity and virtual visits that added a large number of followers have intensified during the closing, with the publication of videos of the restoration work on YouTube and showing a different work of art every day on the Instagram page.

“After 88 days of closure, as of Monday, February 1, 2021, it will finally be possible to visit the Vatican Collections every day, from Monday to Saturday,” Jatta announced yesterday on social networks. The announcement came after Italy eased restrictions due to the pandemic, which will allow bars, restaurants and museums to reopen with restrictions in part of the country. The opening is possible thanks to the classification of the Lazio region as yellow, the one with the lowest risk of contagion in the division by color of the Italian regions and which will allow movement within the Rome region and the opening of bars and restaurants until 18.00 hours.

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Barbara Jatta

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