USD $2,400,000. The California Patrons are sponsoring our most ambitious restoration over the last thirty (30) years. We have adopted the Gallery of the Maps, a collection of 40+ maps, one of the most magnificent places in the Vatican Museums. Pope Gregory XIII commissioned the Gallery in 1578. It is over a football field in length, twenty feet wide, and covered with a barrel vault three stories tall. Thirty-four bay windows, decorated in grotesque style, line the hallways and provide views to the Papal Gardens and the inner courtyards of the Apostolic Palace. The long, straight room connects the Sistine Chapel with the Tower of the Winds. The Gallery is decorated with forty large maps depicting the Italy of the late 1500’s. They were painted between 1580 and 1583 by the renowned cartographer and painter Ignacio Danti and form the largest geographic and cartographic cycle in the world.

The frescos start with the southernmost lands and advance up the Apennine Mountains with the territories facing the Tyrrhenian and Ligurian Seas on the east and the regions facing the Adriatic Sea and the Alps on the west. The pope could walk the breadth of Italy without leaving his home. Now, five million visitors a year walk the same corridor, surrounded by the detailed and accurate depictions of the 16th century Italian world.

Centuries of sun, rain and dust on a settling foundation have taken their toll. The Patrons are funding the $2.4 million, three-year restoration project. Previously, the successful $900,000 campaign for the restoration of the Sistine Chapel in Santa Maria Maggiore constituted our largest undertaking. Due to a generous gift of $1.2 million from a Patron for half of the sponsorship, the California Patrons will raise $1.2 million more for the Maps Project. To fund our commitment, individual maps can be sponsored at the $35,000 or $70,000 level (payable over time). Each contributor and the sponsored map will be commemorated at the Gallery of the Maps. Several maps have already been adopted. For futher information, please contact Campaign Chair Maria Grant (626-441-2935, or Patron Chair Michael Feeley


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