Did Michelangelo create these sketches on the wall of secret room hidden within Florence’s Medici Chapel? Chamber is opened to the public for the first time so they can judge for themselves
- Access to the room inside Medici Chapel has been restricted since 1975
- The tiny space will now be open to 100 members of the public per week
- The charcoal drawings are believed to have been done by Michelangelo himself
Just four at a time, visitors soon will be allowed access to a long-hidden space inside Florence’s Medici Chapel where delicate charcoal drawings sketched on the walls have been attributed by some experts to Michelangelo.
The secret room – a tiny 33-by-10 feet space – was discovered in 1975, when officials were searching for a new exit from the Medici Chapel to accommodate increasing visitors.
The museum’s then-director Paolo Dal Poggetto ‘firmly believed that they were by Michelangelo,’ said the current director, Paola D’Agostino. A fierce debate ensued, and continues to this day.
‘The major scholars of Michelangelo´s drawings dismissed the attributions’ at the time of discovery 50 years ago, she said.
‘Others had a more moderate view, in the sense they tough that some could be by Michelangelo and others could be by followers. So the debate is ongoing.’
Officials decided to open the room to the public on a limited basis, and will alternate exposure to LED lights with extended periods of darkness to protect the works
From November 15, up to 100 visitors will be granted access each week by reservation, four at a time
Academics have long debated whether the delicate sketches were made by Michelangelo himself
Delicate charcoal drawings that some experts have attributed to Michelangelo are seen on the walls of a room used to store coal until 1955 inside Florence’s Medici Chapel, in central Italy
The long-hidden 33-by-10 feet space was discovered in 1975, sparking a fierce debate over Michelangelo’s attribution
Officials decided to open the room to the public on a limited basis to protect the works
Each group will be allowed to spend a maximum of 15 minutes inside the hallowed space
The drawings are believed to depict the legs of Giuliano de Medici, as included in the New Sacristy near the secret room´s entrance
The trapdoor leading to a room with delicate charcoal drawings on the walls that some experts have attributed to Michelangelo is seen inside Florence’s Medici Chapel, in central Italy
The room was used to store coal until 1955, and then sealed closed and forgotten for decades below a trapdoor that was in turn hidden beneath furniture. The drawings themselves were discovered under two layers of plaster.
According to Dal Poggetto’s theory, Michelangelo hid in the tiny space from ‘the wrath of Pope Clement VII’ for supporting a short-lived republic that overthrew the Medicis, sketching studies for some of his projects.
They include sketches believed to be the legs of Giuliano de Medici, as included in the New Sacristy near the secret room´s entrance.
For most of the last 50 years, access to the room has been restricted.
Officials decided to open the room to the public on a limited basis, and will alternate exposure to LED lights with extended periods of darkness to protect the works.
Starting from November 15, up to 100 visitors will be granted access each week by reservation, four at a time, spending a maximum of 15 minutes inside the space.
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