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Sistine Chapel prepared for conclave

March 6, 2013 at 9:19 AM

VATICAN CITY, March 6 (UPI) -- The Sistine Chapel is closed to the public as a team prepares the space for the conclave to elect a successor for Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican Museums said.

Workers Tuesday began painstakingly recreating the smallest of details and traditions from conclaves going back hundreds of years, with photographic documentation of the more recent sessions, ANSA reported.

Engineer Paolo Sagretti was put in charge of the project, including arrangements for audiences, pontifical ceremonies and the interior decoration of the chapel.

The last two of the 115 cardinal electors are expected to arrive in Rome by Thursday, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Wednesday.

Kazimiers Nycz of Poland should arrive Wednesday and Jean Baptiste Pahm Minh Man of Vietnam will arrive Thursday, ANSA reported.

Once the cardinals arrive, a date for the conclave should be set. The conclave was initially scheduled for March 11 though that could be pushed back because cardinals are taking more time to examine the problems facing the church ahead of the election.

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