Touching Art in the Vatican Museums



Imagine you cannot see, but want to experience the beauty of the Vatican Museums. Someone might be able to describe the pieces to you, but would it not be great to be able to actually touch them? Or what if you could sense a three dimensional piece of art like an ancient sarcophagus or marble statue? On Friday, February 2nd, I witnessed a very emotional scene, as I saw several blind people run their hands across a statue of Christ the Good Shepherd, and several other works of “touching art” on display in the Pius Christian Museum. Thanks to the Italian International Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts and their generous donors, several replicas of sarcophagi, and other replica statues are now on display in the museums. They not only look just like the originals, but they also are made of a marble composite that even gives them the same feel of the coldness and hardness of marble to the touch of the hand. February 2ndinaugurated some new additions to the ongoing “Touching Art” collection on display in various parts of the Vatican Museums. These new pieces, also include braille signage and an accessible display that was designed with input from the visually impaired themselves.

Father Kevin Lixey L.C.

International Director



“Touching Art in the Vatican Museums is a beautiful art access project, supported by the Italian & International Vatican Patrons … The curators have designed a series of special tactile displays that now are part of the most important collection of Early Christian sculptures in the world! On Friday February 4th 2018 an incredible group of visually impaired individuals came to the Museums to explore Touching Art and give their feedback…Thank you to all who participated in this project!”

Amy Gallant Sullivan (left)
Sabrina Zappia (right)
from the Italian & International Chapter