Vatican Museums break visitor record in 2011
By David Kerr
The Vatican Museums as seen from its courtyard
The Vatican Museums as seen from its courtyard

.- The Vatican Museums broke attendance records in 2011 with just over 5 million people entering its doors.

“It is, in a particular way, objectively amazing,” wrote Antonio Paolucci, Director of the Vatican Museums, in L’Osservatore Romano newspaper on Jan. 10.

By way of comparison, Paolucci said that Florence’s Uffizi Gallery is Italy’s “most famous and most popular” museum but it is only able to accommodate 1.5 million people in a year.

The visitor numbers for the Vatican Museums put it in the same bracket with British Museum in London, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and the Prado in Madrid. Meanwhile, the Louvre in Paris remains the continent’s most visited museum with 8.5 million guests every year.

While he is delighted by the popularity of the Vatican Museums, Paolucci also stressed that “it is wrong to measure the importance of a public art collection based on the number of visitors,” particularly in Italy where art and history are found “equally in the squares and streets in towns and rural villages.”

At the same time, Paolucci said that the Vatican Museums now fall into small category of no more than 10 museums worldwide that can be regarded as “great museums” and thus are an “irresistible” attraction for tourists to Rome.

He attributed the record attendance to the Museums’ reputation and the “prestige” of being part of the Holy See. In 2010, the museums reported having almost 4.7 million people roam its halls and galleries.

Pope Julius II founded the museums in the early 16th century. They are now home to some of the most renowned classical sculptures and Renaissance art in the world.

Among the most popular exhibits for visitors are the four “Raphael Rooms,” painted by the Italian Renaissance artist and his workshop, and the Sistine Chapel created by Michelangelo.

Paolucci said that the record number of visitors also creates an increased challenge with noise levels, as well as the need to continually improve visitor services such as cafeterias, restrooms, bookshops, tour guides and access for the disabled.

“In short, we are aware that to enter the ‘club of the five million’ means that the great museums of the world face problems until now recently unknown, and we will experiment with new solutions.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family

Liturgical Calendar

July 30, 2014

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:44-46


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 15: 10, 16-21
Gospel:: Mt 13: 44-46

Saint of the Day

St. Peter Chrysologus »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:44-46


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: