Vatican City, Jun 2, 2020 / 02:01 am
The Vatican Museums reopened Monday revealing newly restored frescoes in the Raphael Rooms depicting scenes from early Church history to the public.
“Today is a way that we can in some way share [beauty] with the entire world ... thanks to Raphael,” Vatican Museums Director Barbara Jatta told CNA June 1.
“It is a joy, and it is, of course, a part of our work, but after the lockdown -- after the pandemia -- it is more a joy,” Jatta said.
After being closed for three months due to Italy’s coronavirus outbreak, the Vatican Museums opened their doors June 1 allowing only 1,600 visitors -- under 10% of its usual tourist traffic -- to enter the museums, with additional safety measures.
These visitors to the museums were some of the first to see the restoration of two paintings that art historians believe to be the last works of Raphael, the Renaissance painter responsible for “The School of Athens” and “The Transfiguration.”
During the five year restoration process of the 16th century frescoes in the Hall of Constantine, the largest and most recent of the four Raphael Rooms in the Vatican, technical and scientific analysis revealed that two figures in the scenes were distinct in their brushstrokes and technique.
Guido Cornini, the scientific director of restoration of 15th and 16th century works for the Vatican Museums, confirmed that two female figures in the scene, allegorical figures for justice and friendship, were painted by Raphael’s hand.