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Downtown St Petersburg to host Vatican exhibit

Downtown St Petersburg will have another exciting exhibition when the Florida International Museum opens the Vatican Splendors exhibition on February 9, 2008. Art, artifacts and historical objects will be displayed until May 11th – one of the largest collections ever to leave the Vatican in Rome.

Florida International Museum has been pursuing this collection from St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums and Swiss Guard since 2006 – and as a member of their Board of Directors, I can assure you that it hasn’t been easy.

The items will be on a 3 city tour – St Pete is first. The others haven’t been confirmed but St. Paul, Minnesota and Cleveland, Ohio, are in negotiations for it.

Due to the expected large numbers, entries will be timed. Tickets will be available in time to give them as Christmas gifts. Make your plans to visit the exhibit between Feb 9 and May 11.

The first blockbuster exhibition at Florida International Museum was Treasures of the Czars, which opened in January 1995, in a then sleepy downtown. The blossoming of downtown St. Petersburg since that time has often been attributed to the success of that first exhibit. Lines of people wound around the block, showing that hundreds of thousands of people could indeed be attracted to downtown St. Petersburg!

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