The large number of visitors is excellent for the museums, but not always great for protecting the artworks themselves.
Because of this, "we have a very important program for preservation of the entire spaces of the museum," Jatta said, "which costs a lot in effort and money, but we do think that it's a very important part of our organization."
Why should someone visit? The Vatican museums are a unique place, she said. For instance, it isn't just one museum, but in fact many, all joined together. "So it's not only a museum of archeology – you have many other archeology museums in Rome or in other parts of Italy."
What makes the Vatican museums unique is "the idea of having the different witnesses of the culture, art and faith, that's an important part, a fundamental part of this museum."
For example, the ethnological museum has more than 80,000 pieces, from different continents, and all witnessing to the faith, she said. This museum is comprised of pieces that were given as gifts to the popes, especially Pius XI.
"But it really is an ongoing museum that is still receiving items from all over the continents and that's probably the most important aspect of our museums. The idea that they preserve witnesses of faith."
Jatta was vice-director of the museums starting in June 2016, but before that, since 1996, she worked and led the prints section of the Vatican Library. "So I was always an art historian working within the Vatican walls," she said.
She met Pope Francis while in her former job when she presented him with a work of art for the Jubilee of Mercy. "For sure, Pope Francis is very interested in art," she continued, highlighting how he brought homeless to visit the Sistine Chapel because "he thought that they would never have the opportunity to see it and this is very important."
He speaks "about art very often, and the sense that beauty and art link people is something very, very important that he tells us…and it's one of my ideas in leading these museums," she said.
Mary Shovlain contributed to this story.
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.