|Sistine Chapel visitors dusted|
Catholic News Service
Catholic News Service photo
Pope Benedict leaves after baptizing 20 babies during a Mass in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican Jan. 13. The pope told parents that baptism would bring their child into a "personal relationship with Jesus" that would give their lives meaning.
In an effort to protect Michelangelo’s famed frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums is installing a new ventilation system to suck the dust, dirt and humidity from visitors.
With 5 million tourists pushing through the turnstiles each year, all that traffic is taking its toll as “dust, temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide are the great enemies of paintings,” said the director of the Vatican Museums.
A 110-yard-long carpet leading to the chapel’s entrance will clean off people’s shoes.
Suction vents will line the same path to vacuum hair, dust and other particulates off of visitors before they head into the chapel, and a new climate control system will lower temperatures to remove heat and humidity from people’s bodies.