Field of Science

Appreciation of art - Sistine Chapel version

A lot of good art can be seen in Rome, and TPP thinks perhaps Michelangelo's  famous ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is some of the best.  The problem is that the chapel is not a huge space, and it is tall and narrow and there are a lot of panels up there.  Now ordinarily when you encounter a really nice piece of art, you take your time to observe it and let it make an impression upon you.  Not here you're not because you are crowded in with 300 other people in a way that makes it seem like the influx is being used to put pressure upon earlier arrivals to exit.  Like a lot of similar situations a low murmur from a lot of people talking quietly fills the chapel with a white noise, until someone blares over the PA system, "Silence!"  This was followed by "No photos" and "No videos".  An explanation was offered, loudly, that this was a sacred place and silent respect was expected, so "Let us pray".  But my simple prayer went unanswered, the crowd did not disappear and the PA system did not go silent.  The ceiling was a wonderful thing to see, but the experience was not excellent.  And then you get to exit through a gift shop where you could buy all those sacred images on the outside of coffee mugs.  This put a rather different spin on the photo prohibition, it was all about money.  Actually for TPP the first part of the Vatican museums was mostly Egyptian art and it was a excellent display. BTW buying a skip the line ticket is probably a good idea.  

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