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Each day, as many as 20,000 visitors pay up to €16 per person to enter the Vatican Museums, the highlight of which is the Sistine Chapel. This coming weekend, reports Crux, approximately 40 fans of German automaker Porsche will get to pay up to €5,000 each to take a private tour of the Vatican, which includes dinner in the museums and a concert in the famous chapel.
Porsche has advertised the event on its website as the Exclusive Porsche Tour of Rome, which includes these tour highlights:
- Access to the Vatican Museums outside the official opening hours
- Magnificent concert in the stylish setting of the Sistine Chapel arranged exclusively for the participants
- Unforgettable dinner in the midst of the exhibition at the Vatican Museums
- Visit to the papal gardens at the Vatican and the Necropolis on the Via Triumphalis
- Porsche Travel Club driving tour (two days) in the southern Lazio region
Meanwhile, Monsignor Paolo Nicolini, the managing director of the Vatican Museums, maintains that the event is the “debut of ‘Art for Charity,’ an initiative to exclusively support the charitable projects of the pope. This initiative is organized directly by the Vatican Museums and is directed at big companies. With the payment of a ticket, they can contribute to financing charity projects.” Nicolini told reporters on October 16 that, “The Sistine Chapel can never be rented because it is not a commercial place.”
The one-off event stands to raise about €200,000—almost half of what the Vatican Museums could raise in a full day off of tourist admissions, with only a fraction of the wear and tear. Artnet added:
“Since his inauguration, Pope Francis has put significant emphasis on the plight of the poor and has gained a reputation for his pragmatic and forward-thinking interpretation of scripture. This latest move may indicate that he is prepared to capitalize on the Vatican’s rich cultural heritage for the benefit of those in need.”