Tens of thousands flock to see the wonders of the Sistine Chapel at Hull Minster

The Sistine Chapel exhibition attracted 35,000 visitors to Hull Minster, including these guests at the opening event staged by Marketing Humber. Photo: Neil Holmes.

An exhibition showcasing the wonders of the Sistine Chapel has been hailed as a major success, attracting 35,000 people to Hull Minster.

The “Michelangelo – A Different View” exhibition drew visitors from far and wide during its 42-day run at the magnificent, 700-year-old church and gained valuable media profile for the Minster and Hull in several national newspapers and on BBC Radio 1 and Radio 4.

The exhibition gave visitors the chance to admire more than 50 superbly-detailed reproductions of Renaissance master Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel works, including the famous “Creation of Adam” and “The Last Judgement”.

The event offered an up-close-and-personal experience, with visitors learning how Michelangelo created the stunning frescoes and the meaning behind them.

The exhibition also inspired an extensive programme of arts activities and courses, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and delivered by North East Lincolnshire-based arts organisation Our Big Picture.

Bishop Frank White, Interim Minister at Hull Minster, said: “The Sistine Chapel exhibition has been a major success and illustrated how the Minster can serve the city as a unique venue for cultural exhibitions and events of the highest quality.

“We’ve been delighted with the numbers who have attended and the very positive feedback we have received both on the exhibition and how it has been staged and managed by our team.

“The extensive programme of events and arts activities around the exhibition have also been well supported and have made this event one that truly reached out to and embraced a very broad range of people, groups and interests.”

The “Michelangelo – A Different View” exhibition drew visitors from far and wide during its 42-day run at 700-year-old Hull Minster. Photo: Neil Holmes.

More than 130 group bookings were made to see the exhibition while over 250 children took part in education workshops.

Budding artists of all ages have also taken part in an art competition with the theme of “Creation”, inspired by the “Creation of Adam” fresco and supported by Exhibition Painting Partner Hull Trains.

Artists of all ages and abilities have been encouraged to submit their artistic responses to the exhibition in any art material or medium. Entries are open until December 6th, with work to be exhibited in a special exhibition at the Minster in February and March 2020 and the winning entries taking centre stage. To find out more or to submit entries go to www.hullminster.org/art-competition

The Sistine Chapel exhibition was supported by more than 250 City of Culture volunteers as well as Hull Minster’s own volunteer welcomers, demonstrating the event’s popularity and how it has contributed to the legacy of Hull’s year in 2017 as the UK’s cultural capital.

The exhibition was supported by Hull-based partner businesses that enabled the Minster to make it free to enter and accessible to the widest possible range of people and community groups.

They were led by Exhibition Patrons Arco, the UK’s leading safety company, and Wykeland Group, which is at the forefront of development and regeneration in Hull and the wider region.

Arco Managing Director David Evison said: “Supporting the communities in which we work is important to Arco and, as Exhibition Patron of the Sistine Chapel exhibition, we wanted to share this prestigious cultural event with our local community. 

“We are delighted that so many local people took the opportunity to experience this magnificent artwork and engage with the supporting arts programme.”

Wykeland Managing Director Dominic Gibbons said: “The Sistine Chapel exhibition has showcased the Minster as a stunning exhibition space, worthy of staging events of the highest quality. 

“It has gained valuable exposure for the city from far and wide and attracted tens of thousands of people, supporting the economy of the city centre and regeneration of the Old Town and the Fruit Market.

“The success of the exhibition has marked another important milestone in the re-establishing the Minster as a vital hub for community and cultural events.”

[John Meehan – Meehan Media & Comms]

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