Life-Sized Sistine Chapel Replica Opens in Mexico City


Michelangelo's frescoes that adorn the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel are among the most iconic masterpieces ever created. Now art fans don't have to visit Rome to experience them: As Hyperallergic reports, a full-sized replica of the structure has opened in Mexico City as part of a three-year tour around the country.

Never before has the Vatican allowed its chapel to be replicated to full scale. Located on the Plaza de la República in the country's capital, Capilla Sixtina en México matches its Vatican City counterpart down to the details. The ceiling was recreated using more than 2.6 million photographs of the original painting, each about an inch in size. To capture the images, photographers spent 170 nights at the original structure snapping away under the Vatican Museum Director's supervision.

The replica's director Antonio Berumen found inspiration for the project after paying a visit to the real thing in Italy. According to El Universal, he saw a Mexican woman moved to tears by the landmark and was himself moved to have his a version constructed at home. From start to finish, the project cost approximately $2.4 million to build with funding from a financial group, a tortilla manufacturer, and the Mexican government.

Capilla Sixtina en México may be the most impressive Sistine Chapel replica ever erected, but believe it or not, it's not Mexico City's first. After making his own life-changing trip to the chapel, 71-year-old artist Miguel Macías spent 15 years painting the interior of his parish church to match it. The ceilings aren't as tall as the newest replica's, and the details likely aren't as perfect, but we're sure Michelangelo would have appreciated the work ethic all the same.

The Plaza de la República chapel will be open to the public through June 30, after which it will be moved to the next destination on the tour.

[h/t Hyperallergic]

All images: Instagram.