Lascaux Cave & Sistine Chapel

Here is a little quiz.  What do these places and paintings have in common:

Lascaux Cave, France

Sistine Chapel, Vatican

Although perhaps 30,000 years separate these places, they were/are supernatural spaces adorned with spectacularly painted images having spiritual significance. But that is not all. You can no longer visit the Lascaux Cave because human exhalation, perspiration, etc. was damaging the paintings. Today if you go to Lascaux, you visit a replica.

It appears that something similar is happening at the Sistine Chapel.  As reported by the AP, around 15,000-20,000 people per day pass through the chapel, and their emissions are damaging the artwork. The Vatican Museums Chief is something of a joker:

In this chapel people often invoke the Holy Spirit. But the people who fill this room every day aren’t pure spirits,” Paolucci told the newspaper. “Such a crowd…emanates sweat, breath, carbon dioxide, all sorts of dust,” he said. “This deadly combination is moved around by winds and ends up on the walls, meaning on the artwork.”

If things get bad enough, one day you will be able to visit a replica of the Sistine Chapel.

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