Newly-lit Sistine Chapel unveiled in Rome

High-tech system sheds new light on masterpiece

The Vatican has unveiled a new hi-tech lighting system for the Sistine Chapel, illuminating Michelangelo's masterpiece like never before.

The 7,000 light-emitting diodes (LED) lights are part of a special colour spectrum designed specifically to reflect the true hues of the Renaissance frescoes, with each light tuned to a different colour depending on which section it shines.

Installed by Germany firm Osram, the lights are energy-friendly and use up to 90 per cent less electricity than the old system. In addition to lighting, a new cutting-edge ventilation system has been installed to regulate the chapel's temperature and humidity.

The system, installed by US company Carrier, relies on closed-circuit cameras to monitor the number of visitors, regulating the air flow for up to 2,000 visitors at a time compared to the old system which could only handle a maximum of 700 people. The innovations, costing up to €3 million, were paid for by Vatican sponors.

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Wanted in Rome
Wanted in Rome
Wanted in Rome is a monthly magazine in English for expatriates in Rome established in 1985. The magazine covers Rome news stories that may be of interest to English and Italian speaking residents, and tourists as well. The publication also offers classifieds, photos, information on events, museums, churches, galleries, exhibits, fashion, food, and local travel.
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