Vatican Secret Archives

Dec 28th, 2011 | By | Category: Special Features (click on Article name)

” Lux in Arcana–The Vatican Secret Archives Reveals Itself.”

An Event of Unprecedented Scientific and Media Importance


The exhibition which is conceived for the 4th Centenary of the foundation of the Vatican Secret Archives aims at explaining and describing what the Pope’s archives are and how they work and, at the same time, at making the invisible visible, thus allowing access to some of the marvels enshrined in the Vatican Secret Archives’ 85 linear kilometers of shelving; records of an extraordinary historical value, covering a time-span that stretches from the 8th to the 20th century.

The name, Lux in arcana, conveys the exhibition’s main objective: the light piercing through the Archive’s innermost depths enlightens a reality which precludes a superficial knowledge and is only enjoyable by means of direct and concrete contact with the sources from the Archive, that opens the doors to the discovery of often unpublished history recounted in documents. The exhibition is enriched by multimedia installations, guided by an intriguing but rigorous historical narration, to allow the visitor to experience some famous events from the past and to “re-live” the documents, that will come to life with tales of the context and the people involved.

The 100 documents, chosen among manuscript codices, parchments, strings and registers, will remain at the Capitoline Museums for nearly seven months, from February till September 2012. An extremely prestigious location, chosen to host this memorable event since it underlines the profound bond existing between the city of Rome and the Papacy since medieval times; the origins of both institutions involved in the event trace their roots back to Sixtus IV’s artistic sensibility; however, at the same time, the history enshrined in the Vatican Secret Archives is intertwined with the history of Italy, Europe and the World as a whole.

The Vatican Secret Archives represent a cultural world heritage centered in the city of Rome; for this very reason the exhibition has been conceived in cooperation with Roma Capitale, Assessorato alle Politiche Culturali e Centro Storico – Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali di Roma and Zètema Progetto Cultura.

This memorable exhibition is already creating great expectations, fuelled by the mysterious fascination that the Vatican Secret Archives generate in the collective imagination.

All of the above will make Lux in arcana – The Vatican Secret Archives reveals itself an event of unprecedented scientific and media importance.

 

The Christian Post > World|Wed, Dec. 28 2011 09:14 AM EDT

Secret Vatican Documents to Be Revealed After 13 Centuries

By Luiza Oleszczuk | Christian Post Reporter

A collection of 100 documents preserved in the Vatican Secret Archives and never shown to the public will be revealed in a 2012 exhibition titled “Lux In Arcana.” The codices, parchments, strings, and registers, as well as other documentation dating back some 1,300 years,will be on display in the Capitoline Museums in Rome.

  • (Photo: AP/Pier Paolo Citoi)
    Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing during a general audience in St. Peter’s square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008.

The exhibition was organized for the 4th Centenary of the foundation of the Vatican Secret Archives and it aims to explain and describe the papal archives, according to organizers.

What is likely to stir people’s curiosity is a web of theories and legends about the secrets contained within documents maintained by the Vatican. Many filmmakers and fiction writers have fed off those stories, as did Dan Brown in a series of mystery novels, the most famous one being The Da Vinci Code, in which the narrator argues that the Holy See is hiding the truth about Jesus Christ’s bloodline.

The Vatican Secret Archives consist of 85 linear kilometers (about 53 miles) of shelving and contain records of extraordinary historical value, covering a time span that stretches from the 8th to the 20th century.

“It will be the first and possibly the only time in history that they [these documents] leave the confines of the Vatican City walls,” the exhibition website reads.

The writings offer an insight into the lives of Henry VIII, Martin Luther and Galileo, among others, as reported by the Daily Mail. The exhibition also contains a 13th-century letter from Genghis Khan’s grandson, in which he demands homage from the pope, according to the Daily Telegraph. In the letter, dated 1246, the grandson, Grand Khan Guyuk, reportedly demands from Pope Innocent IV that the pontiff travel to central Asia in person to “pay service and homage to us” as an act of “submission.”

Another formal letter in the archive reportedly highlights the papacy’s political role.

“Lux in Arcana” means “into the mysteries of the light” and conveys the exhibition’s main objective, according to the website: “the light [lux] piercing through the Archive’s innermost depths enlightens a reality which precludes a superficial knowledge and is only enjoyable by means of direct and concrete contact with the sources from the Archive, that opens the doors to the discovery of often unpublished history recounted in documents.”

“The Vatican Secret Archives represent a cultural world heritage centered in the city of Rome,” the website statement reads.

The exhibition will be enriched by multimedia installations narrating the history of the documents.

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