.- After just one month since becoming director of the Vatican Museums, Antonio Paolucci said one of the challenges he has taken up is that of showing that the museums are âmuch more than the Sistine Chapel.â
In an interview published by LâOsservatore Romano on Sunday, Paolucci said one of his greatest concerns is that most people only visit the Sistine Chapel and ignore other great works of art. He revealed that the Vatican is seriously considering the possibility of opening a new entrance to facilitate the flow of tourists and museum visitors.
âThis is undoubtedly something I should do,â he said, âbut it is still premature to say how and whereâ the new entrance would be built.â
However, he continued, âone of the things I must improve and which personally irritates me,â is the way the public ignores the treasure of the works of art housed at the Vatican Museums.
âWhat I mean is that to the museumâs public, only Michelangeloâs Sistine Chapel exists. I have sadly discovered that most, more than two-thirds of the people that come to the museum, ignore even Rafael,â he noted.
âDo we understand this? Rafael, the greatest artist of the last millennium, to me even greater than Michelangelo, is no longer seen by many people,â Paolucci added. Thus, he lamented, âMichelangelo has become a fatal attraction that overshadows the rest.â
He admitted that in order to see everything at the Vatican Museums âyou would need more than a month, but I would like people to perceive the plurality of this âorganization of museumsâ when they enter.â
âThe most fascinating thing about the Vatican Museums is that they are a speculum mundi (a mirror of the world). No civilization in history has done this, and the Vatican Museums are here to help understand it,â Paolucci said.