Written by Staff Writer
Some of Raphael's most famous works of art are returning to the Sistine Chapel for one night only as part of "Paintings for Saints".
The team behind "Paintings for Saints" was the subject of CNN's "The World" show, which aired on Sunday February 4, which followed them around as they embarked on a massive project to restore some of the most famous artwork in the world.
In time for this year's celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci's death, the team painstakingly removed the paintings hidden away in paint galleries and oil storage areas in the central Vatican church, and are now putting them back into the main chapel in the hope of producing a fresco that gives "a more important picture".
Sistine Chapel in the windows of the Sistine Chapel fresco
In a unique and exciting commission, "Paintings for Saints" artists Luca Fabbrini and Ludovico Carron will be able to return Raphael's "The Bacchae" -- one of the master's most famous paintings -- to the center of Vatican history.
One of Raphael's longest canvases, "The Bacchae" began as a composition depicting the life of the disciple of Christ, which was cut and hastily turned into a fresco after its original location became jammed in with walls and other paintings.
Raphael's "Christ Becomes King," one of his longer canvases in the Sistine Chapel
In line with this year's anniversary and the new rules of the Sistine Chapel that will restrict certain Renaissance paintings, Raphael will be allowed to put the Bacchae back in the heart of the Sistine Chapel, while the painting that "conjures up the morning of salvation in the Virgin Birth" will return to its home at the Vatican Museum.
"Everything fits with the spirit of Leonardo 's death 100 years ago," said Fabbrini. "A lot of the important paintings in the Sistine Chapel haven't been touched up for many decades."
From the Sistine Chapel to Los Angeles
Some of the more famous works that will return to the Sistine Chapel after restoration include Giorgio Vasari's famous painting "The Last Supper," Botticelli's "Adam and Eve" and Leonardo's "Christ Superstar" from 1498, and Jean-Michel Basquiat's work, "Tombeau de Coubertin, the Architect of the Olympic Games."
The auction of Basquiat's "Tombeau de Coubertin, the Architect of the Olympic Games" is scheduled for March 1.
The "All Souls' Procession," which takes place on the eve of the Last Supper, was painted by Casanova in 1885. Originally installed in Saint Peter's Basilica, it was removed and repaired by Michelangelo. It will return to the Sistine Chapel next month as part of a collaboration with the Vatican Museums.
CNN's Marco Vigliotti on the restoration of "The Last Supper"
"All Souls' Procession" originally hung in Saint Peter's Basilica, but was removed and repaired by Michelangelo. It will now be restored in the Sistine Chapel and return to the Sistine Chapel on March 1.
Once "Paintings for Saints" is completed, the art team behind it are optimistic about inspiring future generations of artists.
"Art is a way of life and should be here with us every day," said Carron. "A way of life shouldn't be restricted to celebrations."
"Paintings for Saints" will be shown on February 26 at 8pm GMT.