The Vatican Museums have announced a special evening opening on 14 July from 19.00-23.00 (last entrance 21.30) to view some of the Raphael tapestries, which for this occasion will be hung as they were originally on the walls of the Sistine Chapel.

The special opening is to mark the loan of four of the tapestries to a special exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London to coincide with the state visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Great Britain from 12-19 September.

The tapestries will be displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum alongside their cartoons for the first time since they were created in the Brussels workshop of the Flemish weaver Pieter van Aelst in 1515. Charles I of England (then Prince of Wales) bought seven of the cartoons for the ten tapestries in Genoa for

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