Sistine Chapel tourists to be vacuumed to protect artwork from dust and hairPA

Tourists who visit the Sistine Chapel are to be vacuum cleaned and cooled down before entering in an effort to reduce pollution damaging Michelangelo's masterpieces, the director of the Vatican Museums has revealed.

According to The Guardian, the five million tourists who visit the chapel in the Vatican City every year and traipse sweat, dust, skin flakes and hair will be 'dusted, cleaned and chilled'.

Director of the museums, Antonio Paolucci, told Corriere della Sera: 'We will cover the 100 metres before the entrance with a carpet that cleans shoes; we will install suction vents on the sides to suck dust from clothes and we will lower temperatures to reduce the heat and humidity of bodies.

The heat and dirt generated by the 20,000 visitors pouring into the 16th century chapel every day has been blamed for the layers of grime on the paintings, which include Michelangelo's depiction of God giving life to Adam.

'Dust, temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide are the great enemies of the paintings,' said Paolucci.

According to the Daily Mail, Mr Paolucci said he hoped the system would be in place by next year and explained 'the money is there'.

Famed throughout the world for its frescoes by masters such as Michelangelo, Bernini and Raphael, the Sistine Chapel has been criticised for the huge amount of visitors crammed into the site each day.

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