The famous Sistine Chapel’s fresco painted by Michelangelo turned 500 years old on Wednesday along with a statement by the Vatican saying it may limit the number of tourist and visitors who seek to see the artwork on the ceiling.
Michelangelo painted much of the fresco on his back atop scaffolds.
Just 20 years after America discovered, Pope Julius II inaugurated the work in an evening vesper on October 31, 1512.
In the fresco, the arm of a gentle bearded God is reaching out to give life to Adam in the creation panel and covers the same room that cardinals gather in conclave to elect a new Pope.
An estimated 5 million visitors each year visit the ceiling in the room considered the most visited place in the world.
Antonio Paolucci, the director of the Vatican Museums, said “We might limit the access, putting a cap on the number (of visitors). We will do this if tourism grows beyond the limits of reasonable tolerance and if we are not able to respond adequately to the problem” noting that dust, human sweat, and carbon dioxide slowly make the room uncomfortable and could have damaging effects on the fresco.
The 12,000 square feet ceiling was painted between 1508 and 1512 under the patronage of Pope Julius II and are the official residence of the Pope.
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