Michelangelo's famous frescos from the Sistine Chapel are photographically reproduced and displayed on special silk material | Photos provided

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition offers viewers a chance to get close to and take photos with Michelangelo’s frescoes from the ceiling of the famous Sistine Chapel. 

Expect recognizable masterpieces such as “The Creation of Adam” and “The Last Judgment” with seven of the lit-up reproductions hanging from the ceiling at Festival Hall on Beaufain Street downtown.

The experience is complete with ambient music, a bar with frosé and other refreshments, plus an audio guide included with each ticket which gives in-depth information about each of the 34 frescoes and the many depicted symbols and Biblical stories.

The touring exhibition, created in 2015, has traveled to New York City, London, Shanghai, Toronto and many other cities around the world — including Charleston’s Festival Hall in 2021. 

SEE Global Entertainment, which puts on the production, typically focuses its exhibits on films such as Star Trek, The Titanic and X-Files. But when CEO Martin Biallas witnessed the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, he was inspired to create a touring exhibition that could provide a closer look at the famous frescoes. 

“When I visited the Sistine Chapel, there were long lines, and we were rushed through,” he said. “This exhibition will allow Charleston residents and visitors from around the region an opportunity to see the amazing art at their pace and up close.”

Representative for SEE Global Entertainment Jenni Shreeves said the reproductions are made with exclusive permission from the Vatican.

“They are printed on a special silk material. And this year, a new addition is that the reproductions are lit from behind, bringing even more of the details to life.”

The photos of the frescoes used to create these reproductions were taken after the controversial 1980s restoration project, which the exhibition touches on. 

Viewers will also hear stories about Michelangelo, who completed the project in four years at the age of 37 in 1512.

The exhibition will host special events including a paint and sip night with local artist Bri Wenke on Aug. 16, happy hours on Aug. 18 and Sept. 9, a yoga class on Aug. 24 and more. 

“We’re excited to be back at the beautiful Festival Hall,” Shreeves said. 

The show runs for a limited time with tickets sold for Thursdays through Sundays. Tickets start at $19.40 for adults ages 18 and older, $13 for children ages 4 to 17 and $15.10 for senior citizens, students and military, with specialty pricing for families and groups. 
For tickets and full event details, visit chapelsistine.com/exhibits/charleston.

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