Sistine Chapel, Vatican museums opened for 150 homeless

Special tours for group followed by prayers, dinner

(ANSA) - Vatican City, March 26 - A group of 150 homeless people were invited for an exclusive visit Thursday to the extensive Vatican Museum complex and the Sistine Chapel.
    The visit, complete with tour guides explaining the sights, has been scheduled for early afternoon and includes a walk through other Vatican City areas, such as the gardens.
    The larger group was to be divided into three groups of 50 for the museum visit that would begin in the Hall of Carriages, according to Vatican Radio.
    The Sistine Chapel, decorated with Michelangelo's fresco masterpieces, will be closed to public visitors after 4 p.m. to give the homeless group exclusive access.
    Prayers will be offered there before the group leaves for a private dinner.
    The Vatican has been providing more services for the numbers of homeless people who shelter under the Baroque colonnades of St. Peter's Square.
    Showers, haircuts and grooming supplies are being provided now by the Vatican for the homeless.