Secret Archives from the Vatican Revealed — Photo courtesy of xiquinhosilva Top-secret documents and correspondence locked away in the Vatican Archives are finally revealed and on display for the first time in an exclusive exhibit in Rome. The Lux in Arcana exhibit includes secret correspondence between popes and princes and other classified documents. It's now being uncovered for the public for the first - and possibly last - time at the Capitoline Museums.
Included in the exhibit are over 100 historically significant documents that span over more than a millennium. The top secret files date back to the 8th century and lead up to modern times. Famous persons noted in the documents are said to include the Knights Templar, Galileo, Henry VIII and Martin Luther.
Before the exhibit, the documents were stored away on shelves that ran as much as 50 miles long in air-conditioned, climate-controlled rooms at the Vatican's Apostolic Palace. Choice secret files have been gathered by archivists and put on display in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of the secret archives.
Among the most notable files on display are documents related to Pope Pius XII, who was highly criticized for not taking a tougher stance on the Holocaust during World War II. Documents related to the trial of Galileo Galilei - who tried to prove that the Earth revolved around the Sun but was shot down by the Catholic Church in the 17th century -will also be featured in the exhibit.
The exhibition "Lux in Arcana: The Vatican Secret Archives Revealed" will be on display at the Capitoline Museums through September.