Another Sistine Chapel rises in Mexico City. The chapel under construction.

Sistine Chapel replica rises in Mexico City

Traveling exhibition will be seen throughout Mexico

Mexican citizens will soon have the opportunity to admire one of the world’s finest works of art, the frescoes Michelangelo painted on the walls of the Sistine Chapel. And they won’t have to travel any farther than their state’s capital.

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A full-size, monumental replica of the chapel — measuring 27 meters high, 78 long and 36 wide — is being erected on the Plaza de la República, below the Monumento a la Revolución, in Mexico City.

The 45-million-peso Sistine Chapel in Mexico is the brainchild of cultural promoter Antonio Berumen, who is collaborating with the Mexico City government to mount the exhibition.

In order to faithfully reproduce Michelangelo’s work of art, Berumen brought together a team of Mexican architects, engineers, scenographers and photographers.

The team spent over 170 nights — while the chapel was closed — carefully photographing the chapel’s every detail and producing a visual archive of about 2.7 million high-definition photographs.

The Vatican had never before granted permission to reproduce the historical and religious monument in such a way, said Berumen.

All the photographic reproduction work was supervised by the director of the Vatican Museums, Antonio Paolucci.

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Berumen expects that the replica of the Sistine Chapel will receive 52 million visitors during the next three years as it visits the capital cities of all 32 states.

The installation of the metallic structure that supports the display and projection surfaces takes 25 days, while taking it apart requires 20.

Visitors will first be shown a 15-minute video projected on the replica’s facade that tells the history of Michelangelo as he painted the Genesis and the Judgment Day scenes.

Once inside, they will not only witness the artistic prowess of Michelangelo, whose work on the chapel began in 1508 and concluded four years later, but also the genius of Raphael, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Cosimo Rosselli, Signorelli, Perugino and Pinturicchio.

No entrance fees will be charged but visitors will have the choice to contribute with donations which will be used to help a charitable cause.

The Sistine Chapel replica will open to the public on June 6 and remain at its Monumento a la Revolución location until June 30, although its stay there could be extended.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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