The "Michelangelo Room"when Paolo Dal Poggetto, then-director of the Medici Chapels museum, was searching for a new exit route for visitors. While exploring the New Sacristy, he found a trapdoor underneath a wardrobe, leading to what appeared to be storage space. Dal Poggetto suspected the plaster walls could be hiding a secret, and after weeks of plaster removal and painstaking cleaning, a fascinating surface was revealed underneath—scores of doodles on the walls, etched in charcoal and chalk. Though the works are unsigned and can't be attributed to Michelangelo with absolute certainty, there are some hallmarks of his signature style: One drawing resembles a marble sculpture from the tomb of Giuliano de' Medici in the New Sacristy (which Michelangelo also designed); another appears to be a detail from the statue of David.
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Though not open to the public , this chuch is home to the " secret room " just to the left of the Sacrestia Nuova where Michelangelo escaped for three months during the last stages of the Spanish seige against Florence .
Besides viewing sketches from one of the world's foremost Renaissance artists, visitors will also gain insight into a more tumultuous period of Michelangelo's life. Dal Pogetto believes the chamber was Michelangelo's hideaway during an uprising against the Medici. After betraying his patrons and joining the revolt in 1529, the artist went underground (literally) in the 1530s, using the room as a refuge when the Medicis regained power. Two months later, he was pardoned and resumed his work on the chapel. Not all experts buy into this theory: William Wallace, a Michelangelo scholar at Washington University, believed Michelangelo would have been taken in by another patron instead. He also disputes Poggetto's claim that Michelangelo drew these works in the 1530s—if he drew all of them in the first place. Nonetheless, he still regards the room as a significant place of art history. “Being in that room is exciting. You feel privileged,” Wallace told. “You feel closer to the working process of a master and his pupils and assistants.”
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The secret room hidden under a trapdoor in Florence that experts believe contains a lost Michelangelo artwork unseen for centuries. The room remains closed off to the public , in efforts to preserve the artwork inside.
Michelangelo ’ s Doodles Line the Walls of a Secret Room Under the Medici Chapel. Since then, given its fragility, the tiny, dark, and unvented space has been alternately opened and closed to the public .
Admission to the Medici Chapels currently(a little over $8), with free admission for students and children under 18. There's no word yet on how the prices will be affected by the new Michelangelo room once it opens in 2020; according to the , only a small number of tourists will be allowed in the room at a time. “We’re working on making the secret room of Michelangelo accessible,” said Paola D’Agostino, the director of the Bargello Museum. “There’s a plan under way to make the space safe for visitors. There’s a great deal to do.”
While we wait for more details, there's still plenty of museums to explore in the meantime. We've rounded up a list of the—it's no surprise that Florence won the first spot.