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Full-size Sistine Chapel replica headed to Mérida

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A replica of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel is coming to Mérida.

Mérida, Yucatán — The city’s big cultural year is winding down, but it won’t end without something spectacular.

A full-size replica of the world’s greatest art and tourist attractions – the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City – will be here Nov. 7 –  Dec. 19 at the Central de Abastos on city’s west site.

Renaissance art lovers on this side of the Atlantic now have an opportunity to see the glories of the original without crossing the ocean.

The free exhibition is the brainchild of Gabriel Berumen, who employed over 2.7 million photographs printed on cloth, hanging from a metal framework.

Included in the Mexican version of the chapel are the frescoes of Michelangelo as well as decorations and sculptures carefully positioned around the life-size model. It cost US$2.4 million to construct.

He had help from the inside. Antonio Paolucci, the director of the Vatican Museums, oversaw the photographic reproduction work, which was carried out over 170 nights while the real chapel was closed. According to Berumen, it was the first time the chapel had been documented for reproduction purposes.

In additional to Michelangelo’s contributions, which include “The Creation of Adam” ceiling panel and the “Last Judgment,” the reproduction also features works by Renaissance painters Raphael, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Luca Signorelli, and others.

It was over 500 years ago that Pope Julius II employed Michelangelo to paint the original ceiling, completed in 1512.

Cultural Capital year

At a press conference held in Mexico City and before just over 50 media outlets, Mérida’s Mayor Mauricio Vila announced Sistine Chapel exhibition in addition to the next edition of the Ánimas FestivalNoche Blanca events, a Fito Páez concert and the International FILUX Festival of Lights and other events.

So far this year, Mérida has offered international shows attended by just over 220,427 attendees and the participation of 230 artists from 19 countries including South Korea, Switzerland, Italy, Canada, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Chile, the United States, England, Costa Rica, Iran, Colombia, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Japan, Germany and France.

The last of the American Capital of Culture 2017 festivities will feature the performances of Karla Souza on Oct. 26 and 28; the show “Pixel” on Nov. 4 and 5; the Dutch trumpeter Maite Hontelé on Nov. 30 and Dec. 2; and Argentine singer-songwriter Fito Páez on Dec. 17.

The FILUX Festival of Lights will be presented Jan. 4-7, 2018, bringing free light shows at various indoor and outdoor spots around the Centro.

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