Vatican City, 8 October 2013 (VIS) – The Vatican Museums will hold a series of initiatives and events from 15 to 20 October 2013 to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the Patrons of the Arts, an international community of benefactors who for three decades have “adopted” and provided valuable economic support for the conservation, restoration and appreciation of the treasures conserved in the Vatican Museums.
The history of the Patrons began in 1982, when the Holy See promoted, throughout the United States, the itinerant exhibition, “The Vatican Collections: the Papacy and Art”. This great overseas event led first to the creation of “The Friends of the Vatican Museums” and then the institution of the Patrons of the Arts at the behest of Cardinal Rosalio José Castillo Lara, now co-ordinated by Fr. Mark Haydu.
The Patrons of the Arts finance, above all, the “extraordinary” maintenance of the papal collections, and over the years, they have made possible the restoration of the “Stories of the Life of Christ and Moses” in the Sistine Chapel, the Pauline and Nicolene Chapels, the fifteenth-century Papal Apartments of Pope Alexander IV Borgia, the Scala Sancta, the and the “Galera” Fountain in the Vatican Gardens. They have also financed the restoration of the Santa Rosa Necropolis and the Matisse Room within the Vatican Museums.
The Patrons do not limit their attention only to famous works of art; they also finance “minor” projects, which allow restorers the opportunity to carefully examine works and to accompany their restoration with detailed research, leading at times to important historical and scientific discoveries that may be shared with the international art world at large. Indeed, the occupational implications of the “adoptive” conservational projects assume particular importance in periods of economic crisis. The numerous restoration workshops established with the support of the Patrons have ensured work for many young experts in the restoration and conservation of artistic heritage.