Vatican Secret Archives unveiled

Capitoline Museums

Capitoline Museums

A forthcoming exhibition in Rome, entitled 'Lux in Arcana' - the Vatican Secret Archives unveiled' was announced today. The show will open in Rome's Capitoline Museums in February 2012.

Speaking at a press conference today, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone Tarcisio said: "the inherent richness of this exhibition is amplified by the fact that it is being organised outside the Vatican, on the Capitol Hill which symbolically represents the 'heart' of Rome and its relationship with the papal city down the centuries. The challenge was to make the resources of the Vatican Secret Archives, with all their academic knowledge and experience, converge with those of the capital city, the Capitoline Museums and the office of the superintendent for archives and museums of the local authorities of Rome".

Cardinal Farina archivist and librarian, explained that "ancient pontifical documents of great importance, as well as letters concerning significant aspects of the life of the Church in the world, will be leaving the Vatican for the first time and will be available to be viewed by visitors to the Capitol Hill, traditional headquarters of the government of Rome".

Bishop Pagano, prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives, noted that the exhibition "aims to throw light on the reality of this venerable institution, on its nature, its contents and its activities. Hence the choice of theme as 'Lux in Arcana'".

"Among the millions of documents held in the Vatican Secret Archives we have chosen around one hundred which illustrate the complexity of the overall holdings", said the bishop. These include "the 'Dictatus papae' of Gregory VII (1073-1085); Clement VII's letter to the English parliament on the matrimonial cause of Henry VIII (1530), and the codex of the trial of Galileo Galilei (1616-1633)".

The exhibition, he explained, "offers the wider public its first chance to enter the reality of the Vatican Secret Archives. ... Modern technology will enable visitors to enter the Pope's archive and to understand the role it has played over the centuries at the service of the Holy See and the world of culture, preserving and handing down an enviable patrimony of knowledge".

Finally,  the mayor of Rome, Giovanni Alemanno, said: "the city of Rome, capital of Italy and see of the Roman Pontiff, is proud to host this event which, in some way, underlines the bond between the secular city and the religious city. ... It is a courageous gesture on the part of the Holy See to organise an exhibition at this level, at the same time agreeing to let these precious documents leave the Vatican. 'Lux Arcana' is an opportunity to recount to Romans and pilgrims the extraordinary adventure of man".

Source: VIS

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