MEXICO CITY (AFP).- Mexicans don't need to fly to Rome to marvel at the Sistine Chapel's famous frescoes. With the Vatican's blessing, a life-size replica was installed in Mexico City.
It is the first time that the 15th century church, with its ceiling painted by Michelangelo, takes a trip abroad, albeit a virtual one.
While the original was built over eight years, it only took one month for Mexico's capital to get its own Sistine Chapel, which was inaugurated on Tuesday at the Republic Square, facing the Monument to the Revolution.
But a painter was not hired for the modern version of Michelangelo's masterpiece. A closer look shows that the frescoes, including of God and Adam, are actually images printed on canvas.
For the reproduction, photographers worked inside the Sistine Chapel for 170 nights.
"In total, 2.6 million images were used to create the replica," said Antonio Berumen, the project's director, who is from Mexico.
Berumen said the idea of making a replica came to him two years ago, when he saw an elderly Mexican woman weep inside the real Sistine Chapel at the Vatican.
After that, he made it his "mission" to bring the chapel to Mexico, the world's second biggest Roman Catholic country after Brazil.
The project cost more than $2 million, mostly paid by private partners.
"I felt as if I was in the Sistine Chapel when I went through the door," said Father Manuel Corral, a priest visiting the replica.
The 27-meter (88-foot) tall structure chapel will remain at the square until June 30, with free access to the public through reservations.
The structure will then be taken apart and taken on a nationwide tour over the next three years
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