Vatican Launches Art Collection Website

( [email protected] ) Jun 26, 2003 01:23 PM EDT

The Vatican launched a new site for the Vatican Museums on the

24th of June, displaying its extravagant art collection to the

world. The site offers a virtual reality tour of the museums

and galleries of the Vatican, including a three-dimensional

video to view Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel.

The site will hopefully attract tourists and expose the

message of the Church to the world. "The tool of the Web, with

its enormous potential, allows us to get closer to an

ever-growing number of people to spread the message of

evangelization around the world," said Cardinal Edmund Casimir

Szoka, an official at the Vatican's museums and galleries.

Visitors may click onto, and view galleries of

the Egyptian and Etruscan museums, the Pinacoteca painting

gallery, the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel -all of

which are part of a collection that is recognized as the

world's cultural patrimony by the U.N. culture agency and


According to Vatican officials, the goal of the site was to

give potential tourists, scholars and curious Web browsers a

sampling of Vatican holdings while taking advantage of the

Internet and the "universal language" of art to spread Pope

John Paul II's message.