New Yorkers get up close look at Michelangelo's masterpieces

New Yorkers get up close look at Michelangelo's masterpieces.VIDEO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) -  Up Close: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel exhibit opened at Oculus in New York City on Friday (June 23).

It is the first experiential art exhibit to open at Oculus according to Scott Sanders, creative head of global entertainment at Westfield, a shopping and transportation hub beneath the One World Trade building.

"When Westfield, who operates all of the center here, started to think about, 'We wanted to do experiential art exhibits, let's do art installations at the Oculus,' who better than Michelangelo to kick things off?" Mr Sanders said.

Michelangelo was commissioned by Pope Julius II to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome between 1508 and 1512.

The exhibit depicts 34 of the frescoes, including the famous Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment, through photographs taken by Erich Lessing.

Nearly six million people visit the Vatican's Sistine Chapel every year.

Dr Lynn Catterson, an art historian, told Reuters the exhibit was a unique way to view the art.

"The imagery itself is powerful enough to provoke curiosity on people that are out shopping," Ms Catterson said. "And I think that's a great opportunity."

Up Close will be open at Oculus until July 23 and will travel to six cities across the U.S. including Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago and Annapolis, MD.