In the 530-plus years since he painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, the Renaissance artist’s famous frescoes have been dealt a fair share of abuse. They’re dusty, they’re dirty, and they’re constantly being damaged by humidity, carbon dioxide and other pollutants.
Now, the head of the Vatican Museums, Antonio Paolucci, is warning that, if new air conditioning and air purifying systems that are being installed at the facility don’t significantly cut the pollution levels in the chapel, he will have no choice but to limit the number of tourists who visit the site.
Seeing the Sistine Chapel is on my bucket list. I hope I have a chance to see it some day.