Vatican tourists 'ruining Sistine Chapel'

The head of the Vatican Museum has warned that dust and pollution from tourists visiting the Sistine Chapel could endanger its priceless artworks.

Antonio Paolucci wrote in La Repubblica that new ways of controlling temperature and humidity were needed to preserve Michelangelo's Last Judgment and other treasures in the Sistine Chapel. More than four million people a year visit the chapel, where popes are elected.

"Such a crowd... emanates sweat, breath, carbon dioxide, all sorts of dust," he said.