.- The Holy See is joining in an effort to promote the cultural heritage of Europe by opening the Vatican Museums to the public free of charge.
The Heritage Days initiative was first started in 1991 by the Council of Europe, and has since added almost 50 countries to its effort.
The celebrations this year will take place on Sunday, September 27 and will have as their theme: "European Heritage for Inter-cultural Dialogue."
According to the Holy See's press office, the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church, the Vatican Museums and the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology are all collaborating in the event.
Saturday, September 26 will see the opening of a photographic exhibition at the San Callisto Catacombs on the Old Appian Way. The exhibition is entitled "Customs and Grave Goods of Rome in Late Antiquity: Christian, Pagan and Jewish tombs compared," and will remain open the next day.
On September 27, visitors will be able enter to the Vatican Museums free of charge. Entrance to all catacombs in Rome that are normally open to the public will also be free.