Vatican library reopens after three years

Vatican library reopens after three years

The library, started by Pope Nicholas V in the 1450s, houses one of the world’s best collections of illuminated manuscripts. It includes the oldest known complete Bible, dating from about 325 and believed to have been one of the 50 bibles commissioned by Emperor
Constantine, the first Christian Roman leader.

It reopens its frescoed halls to scholars Sept. 20. Library officials took pains to note that the renovation work was completed on time — a rarity in Italy but also an acknowledgment of the inconvenience the three-year closure caused many scholars who had to suspend their research while its collections of tens of thousands of volumes were in storage.

Grateful

Cardinal Raffaele Farina, the Vatican’s chief librarian, thanked those researchers “who understood the reason for the closure.”

“Given the amount of what had to be done — the noise and the intrusiveness of the technical and construction work necessary — we decided the library inevitably had to close,” Farina told reporters on Monday inside the frescoed Sistine Hall.

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