In a bid to ensure the preservation of priceless frescoes by such artistic greats as Michelangelo, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and Perugino, the famed Sistine Chapel has been fitted with detectors to check for pollution.
Millions of visitors annually view the chapel, built in the late 15th century by order of Pope Sixtus IV.
Vatican Museums director Antonio Paolucci explained in the Holy See’s official daily, Osservatore Romano, on Thursday that the initiative was enacted in order to update the building’s air conditioning and ventilating system.
The detectors, put in place this summer, measure temperature, humidity, chemicals as well as currents of air, Paolucci said.
“It was necessary to understand the dynamics of the pollution,” he said.
Thirty-six of the detectors are suspended and 14 others are fitted in other parts of the chapel, which is covered in paintings on the walls and ceiling.