Sistine Chapel director 'anxious' about conclave closure

'I'm going to be massacred by upset tourists'

Sistine Chapel director 'anxious' about conclave closure

Trento, February 22 - The director of the Vatican Museums said Friday he was "anxious" to learn when he will have to close the Sistine Chapel for the upcoming conclave of cardinals to elect a new pope. "I already know I'm going to be massacred by requests and protests, because tourists are always eager to visit it," said Antonio Paolucci outside a conference in Trento. The Sistine Chapel, with Michelangelo's famous frescoed ceiling, is the setting of the conclave next month when 116 cardinals gather from around the world to name a successor to Benedict XVI, who will formally step down next Thursday. A date for the conclave has yet to be announced. Rather than give his opinion on who the next pope will be, Paolucci was consumed with making arrangements. "I'm also going to have to close part of the Vatican Museums," said Paolucci. "My thoughts on the election are above all managerial and pragmatic".

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