Things are definitely not looking bright in case of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City as the head of the Vatican museums, i.e. Mr. Antonio Paolucci, has expressed his decision of possibly putting a limit to the number of visitors to the chapel. The reason for making this seemingly excruciating decision is the high level of pollution in the chapel. In case of peak season, as many as twenty thousand people visit the Sistine Chapel everyday. This means that as many as six million people visit the Sistine Chapel every year! Thus, their mere presence in the chapel is causing a huge amount of pollution, which is destroying the priceless frescoes slowly and steadily.
In a bid to cope up with the situation and to have an effective solution, Sistine Chapel’s new air conditioning and air purification system has been proposed. Currently, the installation work of such systems are being carried out at the chapel and it is estimated that by the end of 2014 the system would be up and working! Such a system is going to curb the carbon dioxide, humidity and dust in the chapel. Thus, the frescoed masterpiece of Michelangelo is not going to become dull or get discolored.
During a conference, Paolucci had mentioned his confidence in Sistine Chapel’s air purification systems to reduce pollution levels. However, he has also made a ‘Plan B’ as a safety precaution in case the systems do not work as expected. Even Paolucci is aware that the decision he took, i.e. limiting the number of visitors to the chapel is a ‘painful’ one. However, it is necessary in order to preserve the frescoed masterpieces in the chapel.
This air conditioning and purification system is donated by Carrier, which is a reputed international brand offering electronic HVAC devices. Carrier belongs to the United Technologies Corp. Presently, the pollution level at Sistine Chapel is around eight hundred parties per million. According to officials, this figure is going to increase twofold in the near future, therefore the air conditioning system donated by Carrier has happened at the right time. The primary reason why Carrier donated such systems to the chapel is to preserve its priceless masterpieces by reducing and curbing the pollution levels instead of the number of visitors allowed in the chapel!
It is quite surprising that the last restoration of the Sistine Chapel was carried out in the nineties. It has been thirty years since then therefore one can imagine the amount of dirt and humidity that is bought into the chapel day in and day out.