US museum to display Vatican treasures while pope visits

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Visitors coming to Philadelphia to see the pope will also be able to view treasured art from the Vatican.

“Vatican Splendors” opens Sept. 19 at The Franklin Institute. It will include artwork by Michelangelo, embroidered silk vestments, religious relics and bone fragments of Saints Peter and Paul.

The exhibit traces the evolution of the Roman Catholic Church through objects such as mosaics, frescoes, maps and documents. Galleries aim to recreate environments such as catacombs and the papal chambers.

Pope Francis plans to visit Philadelphia in September for the World Meeting of Families, an international gathering for Catholics aimed at strengthening family bonds.

Vatican Splendors has traveled to other U.S. cities. But organizers say 40 percent of items are new to this tour.

It will be in Philadelphia through Feb. 15.