A dazzling newly lit Sistine Chapel is shining after three years of preparations. The innovations enable the frescoes to survive the rigors of mass tourism, as the Vatican seeks to reduce the number of visitors to the chapel and the time of each visit.
“Visitors to the Vatican Museums are going to be offered special disposable “intelligent glasses” that will enable them to explore the Sistine Chapel in 3D and go deeper into its history before the actual visit,” Vatican Museums Director Antonio Paolucci recently said. “The frescoes by Michelangelo and other great painters will thank us themselves for these installations; the change of air and the control against pollutants together with the lighting will allow appreciation of both the entirety and the details of the Chapel.”
The new lights, more than 7000 light-emitting diodes (LEDs) strategically placed on a rail-like structure perched high on the walls of the chapel to protect the artworks, were installed earlier this year by German company OSRAM as part of a project to commemorate the 450th anniversary of Michelangelo’s death.