Sistine Chapel frescoes ‘different view’ exhibition in Auckland in January

14 creation fresco

Rome is coming to Auckland in January, and people will be able to have a close-up view of reproductions of Michelangelo’s famous frescoes from the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Michelangelo – A Different View will be hosted at the Aotea Centre, Auckland, from 3-30 January 2022.

The exhibition, which will run from January 3-30, is under licence from the Vatican Museums and is being brought to New Zealand by the Stetson Group.

According to a media statement from the Stetson Group, Michelangelo – A Different View presents a very different picture of Michelangelo’s works: the exhibition shows photo-mechanically reproduced copies almost in original size, and in a way that invites visitors to look at them up close and in their own time.

Michelangelo – A Different View is a transformative experience that allows attendees to look down on The Genesis that is enshrined on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel rather than up . . . hence the name ‘A Different View’. This offers a much closer perspective of what its Florentine creator did. The rest of the frescoes are in frames and can be viewed at a distance of just 2metres.”

“With no time constraints, guests can allow these masterpieces to truly soak in.”

Some 50 pieces, including an almost original size a 4.6m x 20m reproduction of The Genesis (which includes the Creation of Man) and a 3.8m x 3.8m version of the Last Judgment are just 1-2 metres away while audio guides, accessible via personal devices (please bring your own phone or and head set), mean visitors can experience the Florentine master’s interpretation of the history of creation in a way they never imagined.

As an addition to – and to complete – the exhibition Michelangelo – A Different View, 14 of these impressive frescoes await visitors in the entrance.  The scenes from the life of Jesus and that of Moses painted by Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Rosselli provide additional historical background and allow for a deeper insight into this epoch.

Promoters Stewart and Tricia Macpherson say they are honoured to be able to present such a significant exhibition in New Zealand.

“Most people will only have dreamed of seeing these paintings at the Sistine Chapel,” Mr MacPherson said. “This is the closest we’ll get to the real thing any time soon. And the fact they’ll be just metres away, is extraordinary.”

Tickets are on sale from October 6 through Ticketmaster. Tickets sold before Christmas are $39 (+ service fees) and children under 12 are free if accompanied by a parent. Family visits are encouraged.

As for Covid contingency plans, providing Auckland is not in Level 4 or 3, the exhibition will be readily accessible. And because the exhibition is open for a minimum of 4 weeks, if there was a brief lockdown, there is still ample time for people to visit, organisers say.

In normal times, more than four million people visit the Sistine Chapel each year.


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Michael Otto

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