Lonely Planet Writer

Replica of the Sistine Chapel draws huge interest in Mexico City

One of the world’s greatest art and tourist attractions – the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City – has been temporarily replicated in Mexico.

A replica of the artistry of the Sistine Chapel is now opened in Mexico with free viewing until the end of this month.
A replica of the artistry of the Sistine Chapel is now opened in Mexico with free viewing until the end of this month. Image by fortherock / CC BY-SA 2.0

It means that renaissance art lovers on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean now have an opportunity to see the glories of the original without having to travel thousands of miles.  The replica in Mexico’s art deco Monument to the Revolution has proven a real draw as people line up to view the renowned features of the chapel. It is free to the public until the end of the month, according to the Hawaii Tribune Herald. The idea is the brainchild of Gabriel Berumen, who is both creative director and producer of the replica. The Vatican has approved his work which he created by using over 2.7 million photographs printed on cloth and hanging from a metal framework.

The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican has agreed to the version currently causing such interest across the Atlantic Sea in Mexico
The Sistine Chapel authorities in the Vatican has agreed to the version currently causing such interest across the Atlantic Sea in Mexico Image by Dennis Jarvis / CC BY-SA 2.0

Included in the Mexican version of the chapel are the frescoes of Michelangelo as well as decorations and sculptures carefully positioned around the life-size model. It was over 500 years ago that Pope Julius II employed Michelangelo to paint the ceiling and it took until 1512 to complete. Exhibit assistant Alberto Salvador said having the replica in Mexico benefited a lot of people who normally wouldn’t have access to seeing such a historic chapel. “It’s a blessing,” he added. The irony of the setting is that among the Mexican rulers entombed beneath the simulated chapel is Plutarco Elias Calles. During his terms as president in the 1920s, he oversaw a brutal crackdown on the Catholic church. The tight restrictions imposed by him on the church remained for a further 50 years.