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Vatican Museums patron chapter making comeback


The iconic double-helix Bramante Staircase of the Vatican Museums. Pilot file photo/Gregory L. Tracy

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BRAINTREE -- By hosting regular events in art museums throughout Greater Boston and sponsoring the restoration of valuable artwork, the New England Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums is slowly making a comeback.

"In a year and a half, we have had about a dozen cultural events, all about perpetuating the arts," said Andrea Gabrielle, the chairman of the chapter's board.

Gabrielle, a native of Italy with an interest in art and culture, said art tells a story he and other patrons want to share with future generations.

"We're preserving the history of our faith," he said. "We're restoring beautiful art. We're restoring the past. There is no future without the past."

The Vatican Museums in Rome contain hundreds of priceless works of art collected by popes over more than five centuries. The Vatican Museums consist of more than 25 galleries, chapels and rooms that include the Sistine Chapel, the Borgia Apartments, the Apartment of St. Pius V and the Chapel of Urban VIII.

The Vatican Museums' extensive collection also contains tapestries, frescoes, paintings by Renaissance masters, antiquities from Ancient Egypt, Greece and pre-Christian Rome. The Museums essentially contain and preserve the heritage and patrimony of Western civilization.

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