THE MAMMOTH relighting project at Saint Peter’s Basilica is Rome is nearing completion, Lux can report.
The scheme – which has been personally approved by Pope Francis – will see light levels significantly increased. In fact, initial lighting tests this month show that illumination of the domes is 10 times brighter than before.
The new indirectly-mounted lighting also eliminates unsightly drop shadows on the circular inscription, which is carved into the wall below the cornices of the basilica.
A total of 700 custom-made luminaires with more than 100,000 LEDs have now been installed by the Italian contractors.
‘We’re really pleased with the new lighting system,’ said Monsignor Rafael De La Serrana Villalobos, the Vatican’s technical chief.
'During the first tests, we could clearly see details of artwork in the domes that we could only guess at in the past.’
The new lighting system also will lower energy usage by about 85 per cent.
The 190 metre-long St. Peter's can hold up to 20,000 people and boasts some of the world’s most famous artwork, including the baldachin by Bernini and the Pietà statue by Michelangelo.
The lighting can be altered to suit the needs of the particular occasion. For television filming, the altar area can be lit to broadcast standards.
All interiors decorated with mosaics – including the world's largest mosaic, which is approximately 10,000 square metres – will also be relit.
The lighting – scheduled to be completed by Christmas – is being supplied by Osram, who also lit the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms in the Vatican in recent years.
- Discuss this project with Osram engineers and executives at the LuxLive 2018 exhibition. Osram is hosting the networking café at the show, which takes place on Wednesday 14 November and Thursday 15 November 2018. See the full list of features and the events programme HERE.