The interior of Mexico City's Sistine Chapel replica (photo via @gaviriasantos/Instagram)

The interior of Mexico City’s Sistine Chapel replica (photo via @gaviriasantos/Instagram)

Visitors flock to the Sistine Chapel to view Michelangelo’s frescoes, but the fingers of God and Adam are now also meeting in Mexico City in a recently revealed, full-size replica of the entire building. Rising on the Plaza de la República near the landmark Monument to the Revolution, the massive structure marks the first time the Vatican has given permission to reproduce the chapel on this scale, according to Antonio Berumen, a local who initiated the project.

The idea for Capilla Sixtina en México came out of Berumen’s trip to the real 15th-century church, where he apparently witnessed a Mexican woman moved to tears, as El Universal reported. He’s since made it his “mission” over the past two years to make a replica in his home nation a reality. Inside the newly risen structure, however, Michelangelo’s paintings are photographic reproductions printed on canvas, their religious scenes composed of over 2.6 million images each about an inch large to properly cover the curving architecture. Photographers had visited Vatican City, where they spent 170 nights capturing the paintings under the supervision of Vatican Museum Director Antonio Paolucci.

The entire cost of the project amounted to about 45 million pesos (~$2.4 million USD) — by El Universal‘s numbers, more than the combined budgets of the four Mexico City government-operated cultural centers. Funding arrived courtesy of the government, financial group Banorte, and tortillas manufacturing company Gruma — though sadly, God is not handing Adam a hefty burrito or a plate of entomatadas.

Visitors may check out the replica for free at its current location through June 30 before it sets off on a nationwide tour for the next three years.

#CapillaSixtina en la #CDMX

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Claire Voon is a former staff writer for Hyperallergic. Originally from Singapore, she grew up near Washington, D.C. and is now based in Chicago. Her work has also appeared in New York Magazine, VICE,...

3 replies on “Full-Size Replica of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Kicks Off Mexican Tour”

  1. I predict this will be the wave of cultural tourism in the future. Full scale replicas so that the original paintings/frescoes are preserved from ravages of time air and light.

  2. This is neither the first nor the only full sized replica of the Sistine Chapel to have been created by permission from the Vatican. Since 1998, in Naruto city of Tokushima prefecture in Japan, you can visit the full scale replica of the sistine chapel at the Otsuka Museum of Art.
    All pertinent details can be had at the following website.

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