The internationally acclaimed Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Exhibition opened to the general public Nov. 13 at the Mall of America in Bloomington. Visitors to the second level of the north atrium are able to see 34 life-size reproductions of the ceiling frescoes that adorn the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel.

The exhibit includes all of Michelangelo’s works displayed on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, from his famous fresco, “The Creation of Adam,” all the way to the “Last Judgment,” which was completed in 1541 as part of an altar wall redesign.

Designed to give people a closer look than they could get at the Sistine Chapel, the exhibit, consisting of images put on large panels up to 41 feet by 41 feet, has been traveling over the last five years to cities across the U.S. and countries around the world, including Canada (where it premiered in July 2015), China, Poland, Germany, Austria, Panama and Columbia. It will remain at the Mall of America through at least Jan. 31, possibly longer depending on demand.

“I’ve always wanted to see the Sistine Chapel, but knew we probably wouldn’t get there,” said Jackie Krenske of Divine Mercy in Faribault, who visited the Mall of America Nov. 15 with her husband, Dave. “So, we just thought this would be a real good way of being able to see it. It’s great.”

SEE Global Entertainment in Los Angeles produced the exhibit. SEE’s CEO, Martin Biallas, visited the Mall of America to see the exhibit there, which opened Nov. 13.

“What excites me the most is that we reach not only Catholic people, we also reach all people of faith,” said Biallas, who is Lutheran. “Of course, it’s a religious theme, but it (also) reaches the art fans, the history fans (and) all the different faiths.”

Another exhibition is open in St. Louis, and one is opening in Phoenix Nov. 20, with future stops planned in Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Tampa, Florida, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 2021. The exhibit generally stays at one location for two to three months, Biallas said. So far, he said, the response has been strong.

“They all love it,” he said. “For example, at the World Trade Center (in New York City), we had over 300,000 people.”

Cost to visit the exhibit is $19 for adults, $14 for seniors, members of the military and college students, and free for children 6 and under. Visitors can buy tickets in advance or at the door. The exhibit will follow safety protocols for in-person events established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Minnesota Department of Health and the Mall of America. Guests will be asked to follow social distancing requirements.

“We are thrilled to bring this exhibit to Mall of America for guests to enjoy a safe and immersive exhibit experience,” said Jill Renslow, executive vice president of Mall of America. “This exhibit will provide a unique, cultural opportunity for Mall of America visitors of all ages throughout the holiday season.”
By Dave Hrbacek, The Catholic Spirit

For more information and to buy tickets, visit chapelsistine.com.