If you happen to fly into Italy’s Marche Airport, then you’ll get a chance to see something that’s pretty unexpected in an airport  a full exhibit of Raphael’s most famous masterpieces.

An overview of the exhibition and some of the pieces featured in front of a huge window pane
The exhibition celebrates the works of Raphael, who was born right in the Marche region © Guido Calamosca / Aeroporto delle Marche

Raphael: an impossible exhibition celebrates the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death which will recur in 2020 the famous Renaissance painter was actually born in Urbino, a city in the Marche region, and the airport is also known as the “Raffaello Sanzio Airport” in his honour. 

Read more: Marche is the second top region to visit in 2020

The exhibition features 45 meticulously accurate reproductions of Raphael’s paintings, which are on display in the world’s biggest art museums. You could see, for example, The School of Athens, which is frescoed in the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican; or the Connestabile Madonna, which is kept at the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg. The reproductions are printed onto a special kind of backlit fabric, as to help visitors to catch every single detail of each painting  – something that might not be possible while standing at a safe distance in a museum.

A picture of some of the reproductions featured in the exhibition against a black background
The concept behind these reproductions is a sort of "cultural democracy" which allows everyone to see these famous masterpieces in one single place © Guido Calamosca / Aeroporto delle Marche

The exhibition was to celebrate the short but intense life of Raphael as well as get as many people as possible, both Italians and non-Italians, to “meet” him for the first time. It’s “not just an exhibit, but a new kind of museum and a new way of creating culture,” declared President of the Marche region Luca Ceriscioli, in a statement.

A picture of some other reproductions featured in the exhibition
Among the masterpieces selected for the exhibition, one of the most famous is certainly The School of Athens © Guido Calamosca / Aeroporto delle Marche

According to the regional councillor for Tourism and Culture Moreno Pieroni, this exhibition is a perfect representation of one of Marche’s greatest charms, which is “discovering wonders in a place where you wouldn’t expect to find them, like an airport”. The exhibition will stay at Marche Airport until the end of January 2020, and you can find all the additional information you need here.

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