Roman basilica near the Pantheon reopens on 18 February.
Rome will reopen the Basilica di S. Maria sopra Minerva with a Mass at 18.00 on 18 February, the feast day of Blessed Fra Angelico, the Early Italian Renaissance painter and patron of artists.
The church, which has been closed since the summer of 2019 for renovation as well as security reasons, is undergoing a major restoration funded by the Fondo Edifici di Culto (FEC), the trust for the protection and conservation of ecclesiastical buildings under the care of Italy's interior ministry.
Following the Mass in the transept, the 13th-century church near the Pantheon once again becomes opens to visitors and accessible for worship.
The transept houses some of the church's most important works including a statue by Michelangelo depicting the risen Christ; the Carafa Chapel painted by Filippino Lippi; the tombs of St Catherine of Siena, a patron saint of Italy, and Beato Angelico himself.
Renovation works are being carried out in the entire interior of the basilica, including its architectural decorations and frescoes. For the duration of the works, visitors can enter the transept of the basilica from the rear entrance, on Via Beato Angelico.
Fra Angelico (c.1395-1455) is better known in Italy as Beato Angelico, after Pope John Paul II proclaimed the artist's beatification in 1982 in recognition of the holiness of his life. Celebrated for his frescoes, particularly the S. Marco Altarpiece in Florence, Angelico was described by Vasari in his Lives of the Artists as having "a rare and perfect talent".
The church, which dates back to 1280, is also known for the landmark obelisk in the piazza outside. The elephant that supports the ancient structure - designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and sculpted by his assistant Ercole Ferrata - was unveiled on 11 July 1667.
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Rome opens restored S. Maria sopra Minerva
Piazza della Minerva, 42, 00186 Roma RM, Italy