The Patrons 30th Anniversary

The Patrons Team is thrilled to welcome all Patrons to join us for the 30th Anniversary celebrated in Rome this October! This occasion will highlight and celebrate the special and unique role that you have played in the Vatican Museums and what your generosity has meant to the various museums, laboratories, galleries and ultimately the millions of visitors that stroll the collections each year.

Thanks to the tremendous generosity and support of the Patrons, many Vatican clergy and staff will be in attendance at the array of activities planned. It is with great pleasure we announce a private audience to be held with Pope Francis for the Patrons! This written confirmation from the Prefect of the Papal Household to the Cardinal President gives the highest probabilities of it all working as planned, but of course the papal schedule is always dependent on unforeseen events. Nonetheless, our Patrons will enjoy a wonderful week of events in the Vatican.


To commemorate this special occasion, a series of unrivalled events are scheduled to ensure this will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Our Patrons will meet with Cardinals and be personally greeted by the members of the Roman Curia at the various activities. During the day, Patrons are invited to a presentation lead by Professor Arnold Nesselrath, Scientific Delegate and Head of the XV-XVIII Century Art Department, and Maestro Maria Ludmila Pustka, Director of the Painting Restoration Laboratory. There will be a private after-hours guided visit of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, where President of the Vatican City State, His Eminence Carindal Giuseppe Bertello, will lead a moment of prayer. The event will also feature exclusive behind-the-scenes visits to the Papal Chapels, State Rooms in the Apostolic Palace and the Sala Regia.

Thank you for your continued support of the work of the Patrons. It would be impossible to do the important work of restoring and maintaining the priceless works of the Vatican without your generosity and prayers.

The Patrons Office looks forward to greeting you in Rome this October!

Donate at

Inspired by social media trends and coupled with the desire to expand our outreach, we developed a new type of campaign. We are working with Ed Norton’s company, CrowdRise — a unique blend of crowdfunding, social networking and contests, an innovative and fun approach to fundraising. We have developed a couple of campaigns of artwork in need of restoration.

We would like to personally invite you to take part in this important mission. There are 3 ways you can get involved:

  1. DONATE: Just $10 will make an impact, and it is all tax deductible. Just go here and click on “donate to a fundraiser,” it only takes about 90 seconds.
  2. JOIN THE TEAM: Create a fundraising page on Crowdrise & “Join our Team.” Then spread the word through facebook, twitter, email, etc. and invite people to do the same.
  3. SPREAD THE WORD: Let people know about how they can become involved.

It does not matter where we are located—we can all contribute in some small way.
Together we can make a difference.

The Gallery of Maps in Cortile Della Pinacoteca

The Gallery of Maps takes its name from the forty topographic maps made up of 40 frescoes along its walls, which depicts the Italian regions and its possessions of the Church that Pope Gregory XIII attained. The maps were painted between 1580 and 1583 by Ignazio Danti, a major cosmographer of the sixteenth century.

The tunnel is 120 meters long and six meters wide, with a barrel vaulted ceiling. The hallways was built between 1578 and 1580 by Octavian Matte.

Each map is divided by Italy’s regions, from the Alps to the Adriatic Sea. Each regional map is accompanied by its native plant and a small illustration of the most populated town.

Four major ports of that period are depicted at the entrance wall; Civitavecchia, Genoa, Venice and Ancona. the Siege of Malta, Battle of Lepanto, and Elba Island are a collection of battles depicted in the gallery as well.

In 1631, by order of Pope Urban VIII, the maps were completed by Luca Holste. Two other painters by the names of Cesare Nebbia and Girolamo Muziano coordinated the completion of the Gallery of Maps, along with a larger group of painters who painted a series of 80 episodes with stories of saints of the Church, linked to the corresponding maps.

The impressive Gallery of the Maps is being restored thanks to the generosity of the United Kindom and California Chapters.

Italia Antiqua

Sistine Chapel in Santa Maria Maggiore Unveiled

In October 2012 the unveiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Basilica of St. Mary Major was celebrated. The restorations began in 2003 under the guidance of HE Card. Law thanks to the California Patrons of the Arts. Led by Michael Feeley and John McDonnell, the California Patrons ventured to Rome to participate in this special event. The Archpriest of the Basilica, HE Card. Abril Y Castellò Santos warmly greeted the benefactors, celebrated Mass and dined with them. Attending the event from the Governorship Palace were the President HE Card. Giuseppe Bertello and HE Mons. Giuseppe Sciacca the General Secretary. Attending, from the Vatican Museums, were Prof. Arnold Nesselrath, chief restorer Maria Putska with Dr. Marco Pratelli and the restorers of the Chapel, their Maestro Roberto Bordin, Prof. Ulderico Santamaria from the Scientific Lab, Dr. Alessandra Rodolfo, Maestro Guy Devreux, Dott. Ing. Pier Carlo Cuscianna, Dott. Ing. Enrico Sebastiani who took care of the lighting of the chapel. The Mass, coordinated by the Master of Ceremonies HE Mons. Adriano Paccanelli with the acolytes of the Legionaries of Christ, was presided by HE Card. Santos and Fr. Mark Haydu, LC accompanied by the outstanding music of the Liberiana Choir. After Mass, the patrons and guests enjoyed cocktails on the Logge of the Basilica and then dined in the Sala Papale. Like a large family, the patrons shared wonderful memories together that will never be forgotten.

A heartfelt thanks to all the patrons who participated in this event, together with the Patrons Office and the Museums. A commemorative plaque with the names of the donors has been placed in the Sistine Chapel as evidence of their great generosity.

Join Our New Facebook Fan Page

Be sure to keep up with the latest news here in the Museums through our Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums fan page on Facebook.  See what your fellow patrons are doing here at the museums, and learn about new events and opportunities within the Museums and around Rome.  Feel free to use the wall to share your fondest memories and favorite experiences with our beloved organization.

Objects of Belief Grant

The Patrons office is happy to announce the generous grant of $50,000 on behalf of the California Chapter. The grant supports an augmented exhibition of objects from the Vatican Ethnological Collection at the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Orange County, California. Currently, the de Young Museum in San Francisco is presenting The Objects of Belief exhibition which will travel to the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California in September, 2013. The significantly augmented exhibition is entitled Gods & Gifts: Vatican Ethnological Collection. Many thanks to the members of The California Patrons of the Arts!

Friday Night Events

Beginning 3 May until the end of October (except during the month of August) the Vatican Museums will host 21 evenings of music. Every Friday the Museums will have special hours from 7:30pm until 11:00pm. During these special openings, the …music of Brahms, Debussy, Beethoven, Respighi, Piazzolla, Mendelssohn, and others will be offered in the Rooms of Raphael, the Gregorian Museum, the terraces of the Pinacoteca, or the Courtyard of the Pinecone in concerts beginning at 8:30pm and lasting around an hour. Come and enjoy!