Pope Francis has chosen Barbara Jatta as the first woman to direct the Vatican Museums. Currently the museums’ deputy director, Dr. Jatta, 54, will take over on Jan. 1, 2017, becoming the highest-ranking female administrator in the Vatican, where most senior positions are reserved for cardinals and bishops.
The Vatican Museums, which include the Sistine Chapel, are among the most popular in the world. They drew six million visitors in 2015, and are also a major revenue source for the Vatican. Dr. Jatta succeeds Antonio Paolucci, the director since 2007. On his watch, the museums installed a new climate-control system in the Sistine Chapel and restored Raphael’s “School of Athens” frescoes. A professor of history of graphic arts at the University of Naples, Dr. Jatta has been at the Vatican since 1996, as curator of graphics in the prints department and the head of the Cabinet of Prints in the Vatican Apostolic Library.
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