Treat for local visitors as Vatican Museums reopen

Gone were the crowds, but the lucky few who ventured to the reopened Vatican Museums on Monday were treated to centuries’ worth of artworks, including inside the Sistine Chapel (above).

After closing for 88 days, since November, due to coronavirus restrictions, the collection of museums – spread over the Vatican – opened its doors to a mostly local public, capitalising on the empty galleries and a dearth of tourists.

The Sistine Chapel, its vault and altar wall – frescoed by Michelangelo – normally inspire hordes of tourists to crane their necks and brandish their selfie-sticks.

But, on Monday, it was practically empty.

The vast chapel is also looking fresher than it usually would at this time of year, since the shutdown allowed staff to carry out the annual deep clean a month early.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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