New Zealanders may not be able to freely travel overseas just yet, but a new exhibition is bringing one of the greatest artistic triumphs in human history to our doorstep.
Forget MIQ and costly flights to Rome: Michelangelo: A Different View will bring the famous ceiling frescoes from the Vatican's Sistine Chapel right to the Aotea Centre for nearly the whole of January.
The exhibition is made up of almost to scale photo-mechanically reproduced copies of many of Michelangelo's most famous and recognisable artworks from his 16th century creation.
Not only will visitors not have to travel 18,000km to see the artwork – the pieces will be entirely at eye level, giving people a more personal experience with the frescoes without having to look upwards.
Stewart Macpherson of the Stetson Group, which has brought the Vatican-approved exhibition to New Zealand, said it is "quite a coup" that the exhibition – which has toured extensively overseas – is coming here.
Covid-based restrictions on gatherings means there will be a limited amount of tickets – but that it will allow for a more "immersive" experience than what visitors would get than if they went to Vatican City.
"We know from when the show has toured overseas, people spend at minimum around 45 minutes to an hour looking over each piece. You can't get that at the Chapel itself."
Some of the pieces that visitors will be able to see up close include all nine panels of The Genesis, which includes the best-known Creation of Man, all captured in a 4.8 metre by 20 metre collection.
Audio guides in English and te reo Māori will help give the exhibition an interactive element – alongside a reading guide for deaf visitors.
And while they expect that Catholics and art lovers will be a key part of the audience, Macpherson said the show has been arranged so families can come together without being hit on cost.
"This is not a show for the elite art community."
Michelangelo: A Different View will be at Auckland's Aotea Centre from January 3rd - 30th. Earlybird tickets go on sale this Friday.