Caravaggio’s Deposition From the Cross is now made accessible to the blind in a new tour.

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican Museums have launched special tours for the deaf and blind.

These two-hour tours are free and seek to offer a multi-sensory experience of some of the museums’ most famous works.

The tour for the deaf includes stops in the Raphael Rooms, the Sistine Chapel, and visits to the classical statues collection.

The itinerary for the visually-impaired includes a blend of sensory experiences.
For example, to examine Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio’s Deposition From the Cross, visitors first listen to a Bible passage explaining the scene in which Christ is taken down from the cross.

Each visitor’s hands are then placed on a resin bas relief of the scene in the painting of Nicodemus and John laying Christ on a stone while Mary and other women look on.

Visitors then feel real items depicted in the painting such as the thick velvety leaves of a common mullein herbal plant and a linen shroud that smells of myrrh and aloe, the same herbs used in burial cloths at the time. - CNS

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