Vatican City, Dec 16, 2017 / 03:20 am
"I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven," Jesus told St. Peter, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew.
Gianni Crea, as the 'clavigero' – or key keeper – of the Vatican Museums, has a slightly different job. Beginning at 5:30 every morning, he traverses the dark and quiet halls of the Vatican, opening the more than 300 doors in the "Museums of the Pope."
As the senior key keeper, Crea oversees nine other key keepers and is responsible for managing 2,797 keys. These keys unlock the 300-some gates and doors of the public spaces of the museums – passed through by thousands of people per day – as well as other various maintenance rooms, closets and personnel spaces.
The most important key of all – that of the Sistine Chapel – is kept not on the ring with the others, but in a white envelope.