The Sistine Chapel Game

OK, I don't do this very often, so listen up: I'm about to say something nice about the Vatican…

The Vatican has a rather good set of museums, and, unlike most museums I have been in, they are happy to let you take photographs of their exhibits. Good on them!

Apart from in the Sistine Chapel, that is.

I don't know why they won't let you take photos in the Sistine Chapel—the copyright on Michelangelo's famous ceiling must have lapsed by now, and it's not as if you're going to do any harm taking a few snaps, provided you don't use your flash.

Ordinarily, apart from when I'm at rugby matches, I reluctantly abide by photography bans. But, when I found myself in the Sistine Chapel last week, and I saw the hundreds of other tourists gawping (sic) up at the ceiling, while frantic museum guards ran amongst them shouting, "No photo! NO PHOTO!", I suddenly had a flash of inspiration, and invented the Sistine Chapel Game:

Me and the Sistine Chapel ceiling, Vatican

The Sistine Chapel Game is very easy to play: you simply have to take a photograph of yourself in the Sistine Chapel (with the ceiling in shot), without being caught by any of the guards.

So I eased my camera out of its bag and fired off a few shots.

"No photo! NOOOOOO PHOTO!" shouted a guard up at the front, who then started barging through my fellow tourists towards me. I quickly turned my back and pushed my camera back into the bag.

The guard practically swam through the crowd straight at me, then, at the very last second, veered to the left and started giving a right bollocking to the fat, bearded and very confused American tourist standing next to me.

Of course, you realise I'll probably be excommunicated for this.

See also: The Cathedral Game (and, before you ask, yes I did).

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.

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