Held Over By Popular Demand, “Vatican Splendors” Exhibit Extended

For immediate release

Release dated: 
December 30, 2008
Media contacts: 

Jessica Kohen, Minnesota Historical Society, Jessica.kohen@mnhs.org, 651-259-3148
Amanda Draxton, Risdall McKinney, Amanda@risdall.com, 651-286-6776 

Held Over By Popular Demand, “Vatican Splendors” Exhibit Extended

“Vatican Splendors” run extended through Martin Luther King Jr. Day–exhibit must close Jan. 19

Since its opening on Sept. 27, crowds from the Midwest and beyond, have flocked to see “Vatican Splendors” at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, Minn. Held over by popular demand, the exhibit will now run through Jan. 19, one week past its previously scheduled Jan. 11 close date, allowing last-minute museum-goers one more chance to see “Vatican Splendors.” After Jan. 19, all of the objects must return to Italy.

“There have been so many great exhibits at the Minnesota History Center in recent years,” said Dan Spock, director of the Minnesota History Center. “While we anticipated unusually high attendance at ‘Vatican Splendors,’ we did not realize that it would surpass the other featured cities on this tour in attendance and ticket sales, especially considering its limited time showing.”

In response to demand, History Center hours have been extended. They are Mondays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Special hours for Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend include Saturday, Jan. 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 18, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Monday, Jan. 19, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“We are just thrilled that people have felt so drawn to the exhibit,” said Spock. “While people are scaling back due to economic uncertainty, it seems they are looking for hope, inspiration and positive activities, one of those being the ‘Vatican Splendors’ exhibit. Whether you are drawn to the exhibit because of religious, artistic or historical significance, this exhibit really does lift the spirit.”

About the exhibit: One of the largest collections of art, documents and historically significant objects from the Vatican ever to tour North America opened Sept. 27 and now runs through January 19, 2009 at the Minnesota History Center. Titled “Vatican Splendors from Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums and the Swiss Guard,” it contains approximately 200 unique objects illustrating the Vatican’s impact on history and culture through 2,000 years. St. Paul is the final of three stops for the 2008 tour and the last chance to see these historically significant treasures before they return to Italy.

Highlights of the exhibition include, Michelangelo’s compass and tools used in the building of the Sistine Chapel; works by Bernini, Giotto, Guercino and others; artwork dating back to the third century; venerated relics (bone fragments) of Saint Peter; the pastoral staff of Pope John Paul II and items from the election of Pope Benedict XVI, including election ballots, a ceremonial vestment and an actual white smoke cartridge used to announce the election of the Pope.

Tickets are available in person at the Minnesota History Center Box Office and at all Ticketmaster locations; by phone at 651-989-5151 or 1-877-2VATICAN (1-877-282-8422); or online at Ticketmaster.com. All tickets are timed entry and subject to availability. Advance ticket purchases are highly recommended. Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors and $13 for children (age 6-12). Children 5 and under are free with adult ticket purchase.

More information about “Vatican Splendors” is available at www.vaticansplendors.com.  For information about the Minnesota History Center, visitors can call 651-259-3000 or visit www.mnhs.org. 

“Vatican Splendors” is organized and circulated in conjunction with the Governatorato of the Vatican City State.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849 to preserve and share Minnesota history. The Society tells the stories of history through museum exhibits developed by the Society, traveling exhibits from other museums and organizations, extensive libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing.

Evergreen Exhibitions is a world leader in providing high quality, state-of-the-art exhibitions in collaboration with more than 200 leading museums and research institutions in the United States and internationally.