Lux in Arcana – The Vatican Secret Archives Reveals Itself

It is the first and possibly only time that some of the Vatican’s most treasured documents will leave the Vatican City to be housed and displayed in the halls of the Capitoline Museum in Rome.

The exhibition will run from March 1 through until September 2012. It is named ‘Lux in Arcana’ to convey its main objective,

The light piercing through the Archive’s innermost depths enlightens a reality which precludes a superficial knowledge and is only enjoyable by means of direct and concrete contact with the sources from the Archive, that opens the doors to the discovery of often unpublished history recounted in documents. The exhibition is enriched by multimedia installations, guided by an intriguing but rigorous historical narration, to allow the visitor to experience some famous events from the past and to “re-live” the documents, that will come to life with tales of the context and the people involved.

Pope Clement VII

Among the 100 priceless documents selected is Henry VIII’s appeal to Pope Clement VII for an annulment of his marriage to first wife, Catherine of Aragon. The appeal bears 83 signatures; signed by nearly 70% of the members of the House of Lords, all dukes, marquesses, earls and most of the barons and the abbots in charge of the major abbeys.

Also on display is Mary Stuart’s last letter to Pope Sixtus V where she writes in French,

“that it hath pleased God to allow, because of my sins and those of the people of this unfortunate island, that after twenty years of imprisonment, I (sole descendant of the house of England and Scotland to profess this faith) be shut up in a narrow prison and finally condemned, by the States and the heretical assembly of this country, to die.”

You can explore these documents and many more, including Martin Luther’s excommunication here.

Watch the official video.

Unfortunately, this is not an exhibition I will be able to see but I would love to hear from anyone that does make the trip to Rome!

For further information visit the exhibitions official website.

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  1. Giorgio says:

    I live in Rome and I’ll visit the exhibition

  2. Sienna Reid says:

    This show is one of the most important ever coming out of the Vatican an is being held in one of the most amazing museums in the world! We are putting together special tours to highlight the histories around the most interesting, important and controversial documents. A must see in Rome!

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