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  • After years of criticism, this week the curtain was raised on a drastically improved and better protected Sistine Chapel, through innovative lighting and a bold new air exchange system that will reduce the pollution caused by 6 million visitors a year. Never have its 2,730 square yards of precious wall and ceiling frescoes by Michelangelo, Pinturicchio, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and other great artists been seen in all their stunning glory.
  • The tourists are back, to the delight of Roman restaurateurs and hotel and shop keepers. But investments in the cultural heritage are neglected, even in Rome, and a chronic shortage of funds and personnel means that the museums are not part of the celebration. “You can’t hope for tourism and then shut down the very places that are the real worldwide attractions,” protests Adriano La Regina, president of Italy’s National Institute for Archaeology and Art History. But is tourism really the cure? Not everyone agrees.
  • Most tourists visiting the Vatican do not go any farther than crowded St. Peter's Square or to take a photo in the Sistine Chapel. But if you can go beyond the obvious, a multitude of treasures awaits...
  • Succeeding Joseph Ratzinger, Bergoglio becomes the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church. Archbishop of Buenos Aires since 1998, he belongs to the order of the 'Society of Jesus' and he is the first Church leader ever chosen from South America.
  • Op-Eds
    Judith Harris(March 13, 2013)
    Francis I has been named Pope, in remarkable speed. Archbishop of Buenos Aires, age 76, he is the first Jesuit pontiff in history and is the son of Italian immigrants to Argentina. His inaugural mass will be held next Tuesday in St. Peter's Basilica.

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