ITALY (eTN) – For all the pilgrims who come to Rome for the beatification of Pope John Paul II, they will find that the Vatican Museums will be open at night on April 26, 27, 28, 29, and May 2, 2011 as part of the celebration. The beatification takes place on Sunday, May 1, 2011.
Pope Benedict XVI, the Governor of the State of the Vatican City, has ordered that on these days, the opening hours for the Vatican Museums will be extended with extraordinary late opening hours from 1900 to 2400 hours, with last admission at 2200 hours. For all pilgrims who have in their possession of a letter from their parish, diocese, or other institution, entrance to the Vatican Museums will be provided at a reduced price of 8 euros.
These initiatives were created to ensure that those who flock to the Holy City will be greeted with a broader service and a better reception than usual, giving testimony to the spirit of collaboration of all the Vatican Museums staff who has been called in to serve the Holy See with pride and dedication.
“The museums of the Pope are the museums of all,” said the Director of the Vatican Museums, Antonio Paolucci, “They represent the history, mission, and fate of the Universal Church. For this, we wanted to open an extraordinary night at a reduced price to anyone who will be in Rome in the days before and after the beatification of John Paul II. In the face of Raphael and Michelangelo, the Apollo Belvedere, and the Laocoon, the world’s Christians will feel proud to belong to a church that has given the world the supreme consolation of beauty.”
Given the great success of past years, beginning Friday, May 6 the Vatican Museums will be open “under the stars” every Friday night for the third consecutive year. These nightly hours will continue through the spring and summer (except for the month of August) until October 28 with evening hours from 1900 to 2300 (last admission at 2130 hours).
More than 30,300 visitors walked through the Pontifical museums and galleries last year under the moonlight – an audience of mostly Roman citizens, young couples, families with children, and young people who enthusiastically embraced an alternative proposal to the usual evening entertainment.
These enchanting evening museum visits are not only for the thousands of tourists who will flock to visit, they are also for the Roman people who are too busy during normal opening hours because of work and family to finally take ownership of their museums, and enjoy their beauty at a special and unusual time.
“The Vatican Museums have the most beautiful works of art to offer to its people. With them also open at night, you must see them with your family and friends,” said Antonio Paolucci. Night visits to the Vatican Museums must be booked online at the official website: www.museivaticani.va .