Night At The... Vatican? Visit Museums After Dark

08/15/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican Museums will stay open to visitors after dark on July 24, offering nighttime visits of the Sistine Chapel and its other treasures.

Museum director Antonio Paolucci wrote on the Vatican daily L'Osservatore Romano on Wednesday that the special opening will last from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and may be repeated if the initiative is successful.

The sprawling complex houses collections of antiquities and Renaissance marvels, including Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel and rooms decorated by Raphael.

Paoloucci said he hoped to attract mainly locals, who usually stay away from the throngs of tourists that normally crowd the museum, which hosts 4.5 million visitors a year.

Tickets for the nighttime visits must be booked online.

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On the Net:

http://mv.vatican.va

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