The largest catacombs in Rome are expected to be open to the public later this year. The 7.5 miles of space has undergone some crucial restoration using laser technology.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the head of the pontifical commission spoke out at a press conference on Tuesday.
“These tombs represent the roots of our deepest identity, the roots of Rome and of Christianity.”
There are 26,000 tombs in the catacombs, with frescoes that are close to 1,600-years-old. They were covered with algae, calcium, and smoke from oil lamps.
Barbara Mazzei, who led the project spoke out about the amount of progress that they had made.
“When we started work, you couldn’t see anything – it was totally black. Different wavelengths and chromatic selection enabled us to burn away the black disfiguration without touching the colors beneath.”