'Vatican Splendors' coming to Cleveland

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If you've been enthralled by Pope Benedict XVI's first visit to the United States, mark your calendars for a Vatican exhibit coming to Cleveland at the end of May.

"Vatican Splendors" opens at the Western Reserve Historical Society May 31 and runs until Sept. 7.

The exhibit commemorates the 500th anniversary (in 2006) of St. Peter's Basilica, the founding of the Vatican museums, Michelangelo's painting of the Sistine Chapel and the establishment of the Papal Swiss Guard.

Cleveland is one of only three U.S. cities that will host the exhibit. It currently is in St. Petersburg, Fla., until May 11, and after Cleveland opens in St. Paul, Minn., on Sept. 27. Tickets for the Cleveland show went on sale Monday.

Roughly 200 rare objects will be presented in their contextual environments, such as the re-created tomb of St. Peter. There also will be tiaras, mosaics, paintings, works by well-known sculptors, papal rings and jewels, embroidered silk vestments, armor, swords and vestments of the Swiss Guard, as well as gifts to the popes from Napoleon, the Dalai Lama and others.

In addition, the exhibition will feature objects related to the election of Pope Benedict XVI, such as ballots, patens and urns used in voting, a ceremonial vestment and a white smoke cartridge used to announce the election.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $14 for children (age 6-12). You can order them at 1-888-5VATICAN (1-888-582-8422) or online at Ticketmaster.com. Hours for "Vatican Splendors" will be Mondays through Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Western Reserve Historical Society is at 10825 East Boulevard in Cleveland's University Circle district. For directions, go to www.wrhs.org or call 1-216-721-5722.


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