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VATICAN, March 24. /TASS/ The recent Tretyakov Gallery exhibition titled Roma Aeterna, Masterpieces of the Vatican’s Pinacoteca, was a unique project for the Vatican, which rarely showcases their collection in other galleries, especially it’s most famous paintings, the Vatican Museums Director Barbara Yatta said in an exclusive TASS interview.
"When I became the head of the museum, the project was already approved and prepared by my predecessor Antonio Paolucci with the head of the Tretyakov Gallery Zelfira Tregulova. And these plans were so huge, that in the beginning, I got a little scared," Yatta admitted.
According to her, the biggest challenge was replacing 42 items from the permanent Pinacoteca collection on display, while they were on their way to the Russian capital.
"It’s not like we don’t have anything to put in their place, but when a visitor expects to see Caravaggio and can’t find it, it’s a problem. And we sent to Moscow our biggest masterpieces - Raphael, Caravaggio, Melozzo da Forli’s Angels that take up an entire exhibit hall, along with other Vatican Pinacoteca gems," she said.
Yatta also emphasized that the Moscow exhibition was a big exception. "It is also symbolic, it is true of an important dialogue with the Russian culture, and "rewards" a special attitude that Russians have towards Italy, Rome, and Italian culture," she added.
"But overall, I am of the rather traditional mindset, that works of art should be in their place and that people need to come see them there. Of course, I am not against exhibits, that would contradict the nature of the museum itself, but any exhibition should be approached cautiously. If only because the slightest motion can be dangerous and creates problems for the artwork itself," the museum director pointed out.
The Vatican exhibition was held in Moscow November 25, 2016 through March 1, 2017 at the Engineering Building of the Tretyakov Gallery, and was visited by over 163,000 people. The interest was so great, that the exhibit was extended for 10 days and on-line tickets were sold out in minutes after the opening of sales.