Pope names first woman to head Vatican Museums

VATICAN CITY • Pope Francis on Tuesday named Italian Barbara Jutte as the next head of the Vatican Museums, making her the first woman to take charge of the Catholic Church's artistic treasures.

Ms Jutte, 54, steps up from her current role as deputy director on Jan 1, taking over from Mr Antonio Paolucci, 77, an art historian and former Italian culture minister.

Ms Jutte, a native of Rome, has worked at the Vatican since 1996.

She will be taking over one of the world's greatest collections of artworks, contained in 7km of galleries including the celebrated Sistine Chapel.

The museums draw four million visitors each year, despite a relatively hefty standard adult entry price of €16 (S$24).

Most reviews are highly favourable despite some grumbling that the visitor experience is negatively affected by overcrowding.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2016, with the headline 'Pope names first woman to head Vatican Museums'. Print Edition | Subscribe