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Sistine 'a swipe at Pope'.

Byline: By STEPHEN MAGUIRE

ARTIST Michaelangelo painted secret messages on his pictures in the Sistine Chapel aimed at insulting the Pope and the Catholic Church, a new book claims.

The book, The Sistine Secrets: Unlocking The Codes in Michaelangelo's Defiant Masterpiece', was written by Professor Benjamin Blech and Roy Doliner, a Vatican tour guide.

The authors claim they have scanned images of the 14,000 square foot ceiling painting which took four years to paint and found shapes that correspond to Hebrew letters.

The authors believe the entire Sistine Chapel, which they say is built to the same proportions as the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, is a "lost mystical message of universal love" which was intended to be decoded.

But the book has been slammed by Marco Bussagli, an art history professor at Rome's La Sapienza University.

He said the revelation of "anti Catholic and anti-Christian" messages on the roof "suggests that the Dan Brown syndrome has struck again."

Mr Brown is the author of the controversial book and film, The Da Vinci Code, which claims Jesus was secretly married to Mary Magdalene.

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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 22, 2008
Words:187
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