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The Sistine Chapel stages a concert (but only for charity)

by Carlo Marroni

It is the most-visited place in Rome, even though it is not in Italy - it's the Sistine Chapel, the treasure of the Vatican Museums. Home to the most famous frescoes in the world, the chapel draws six million visitors every year. But on Saturday night (October 18), when the Vatican museums are closed, the notes of a piece of music by Gioacchino Rossini will interrupt the silence of the large hall, which also hosts the conclaves to elect a new pope.

The concert will be reserved to a limited number of guests, reportedly no more than 38 invited by the German luxury car maker Porsche, which has paid a rumored-to-be whopping sum to have access to the chapel and hear Rossini's “Petite messe solennelle.”

The Sistine has never been rented for a private charity event. Pope Francis wanted to be the first pope to open the chapel and chose Porsche, but only for charity. The funds raised will be used to help the homeless and the sick, as well as soup kitchens. The decision reflects Pope Francis's view of using the treasures of the Vatican for good actions.

The pope, of course, will not attend the event. Francis is known for not going to concerts. He was once expected at a music event, but his chair remained empty. This time, however, he let the luxury car maker in, for a goal in harmony with his pontificate.