Library Repair Causes a Plea to the Pope
Normally a sanctuary of scholarly meditation, the Vatican Library has been the scene of unusually hectic activity lately, as word has spread that it will close in July for a three-year renovation.
Since the Vatican announced the impending shutdown, dozens of scholars have been lining up each day at ever earlier hours to snatch one of the 92 available spots in the manuscript room, where they can pore over archaic texts in forgotten languages. The library staff, traditionally prompt in responding to requests, has been struggling to keep up with the demand.
Petitions addressed to Pope Benedict XVI, the ultimate authority on Vatican matters, are circulating among scholars. Some ask that the manuscript division at least remain accessible to the public during the three-year renovation. Others request that the closing be delayed until 2008 so that scholars will have time to wrap up research and meet publishing or teaching deadlines.
Personally, I'm thinking that they might get it done a lot faster if they simply hire a team of people with rollers to do the ceilings rather than waiting for one guy to finish his fresco, no matter how talented he is, but that's just me...