Vatican Exhibit Breaks Record
Saint Peter and the Vatican: The Legacy of the Popes set a new record for attendance at the Cincinnati Museum Center and for Cincinnati, according to a story by Marilyn Bauer published in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The exhibit was attended by more than 163,000 people. Before the Vatican exhibit, the record for a museum exhibition in Cincinnati was held by Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit -also a Clear Channel Exhibitions exhibit-based on 160,000 attendees. The Titanic exhibit has been viewed by as many as 830,000 attendees in a single market.
"It's an exceptionally unique exhibit," says Douglass W. McDonald, president and CEO of the Museum Center. "People understood this was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see these artifacts without having to go to Rome."
The 15,000-square-foot exhibit represents the largest collection of Vatican art and objects ever to tour the U.S.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer story, the most popular piece of the Vatican exhibit was "The Mandylion of Edessa," a piece of linen bearing what is considered to be the oldest image of Christ. "It's spectacular," says McDonald. Sculpture by Bernini and drawings by Michelangelo also are popular, as are the ancient fabrics, liturgical vestments and tiaras. McDonald says it's too soon to know the economic impact the show has had on the city, but it will be in the millions. The exhibit's success also will allow the Museum Center to launch more blockbuster shows, he says.