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THE VATICAN AND CARRIER CORPORATION INSTALL AN ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL SYSTEM TO PROTECT MICHELANGELO'S SISTINE CHAPEL FRESCOES

 VATICAN CITY, ITALY, June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- His Holiness Pope John Paul II, in ceremonies held here today, formally accepted a state-of- the-art environmental control system for the Sistine Chapel designed by Carrier Corporation, a division of United Technologies Corporation. Officials said the system will protect the Sistine Chapel's newly restored Michelangelo frescoes from moisture, pollution and other environmental threats for years to come.
 The Carrier air treatment system, designed by Carrier's engineers in cooperation with the Vatican's technicians, restorers and scholars, was presented to Pope John Paul II by William S. Frago, president of Carrier.
 "It is an honor of the highest order for Carrier to be formally linked through this gift with the priceless heritage of Michelangelo's genius," Frago told the pontiff. "We are so proud to have been selected by the Vatican to execute this important work, and we are grateful for the cooperation we have received from the Vatican during its installation."
 The air conditioning and humidity control system designed by Carrier's engineers is intended to combat several threats to the Sistine Chapel's frescoes, completed by Michelangelo in 1512 and scientifically and aesthetically restored by the Vatican over the last decade.
 Over the years, the frescoes -- acknowledged by art historians to be among the world's greatest works -- had been subjected to a daily, virtually imperceptible battering by a number of environmental factors.
 The threats to the frescoes included traffic fumes and air pollution drifting in through the chapel's open windows, dangerous fluctuations in humidity caused by the accumulated breath and body heat of more than two million visitors each year and the unavoidable ravages of time.
 In addition, previous attempts at restoration as well as normal air movement inside the chapel caused airborne dirt particles to be continually deposited in layers over the frescoes' surfaces.
 With the accumulated dirt, soot and grime of five centuries painstakingly removed, the brilliant, freshly exposed surfaces of the chapel's ceilings and walls were once again vulnerable to potentially destructive atmospheric forces. As the restoration progressed, the highly skilled Vatican restorers working to preserve Michelangelo's masterpiece determined that the Vatican must install a sophisticated indoor environmental air and humidity control system in the Sistine Chapel to protect their efforts -- and the frescoes -- for posterity.
 Engineers and designers from Carrier, the world's leading heating, ventilating and air conditioning company, were thus called in to consult with the Vatican on a technical challenge of awesome complexity: how to design an air conditioning system to protect a more-than-room-sized masterwork, and install it seamlessly in the chapel's interior without damaging the very walls and ceiling the system was meant to save.
 Temperature and air flow studies conducted by the engineers revealed two immediate problems: continual drafts of warm, moist air being forced up to the chapel ceiling by the thousands of visitors passing through each day, and strong drafts from a hot-air heating system, installed under the chapel's floor, that blew dirt and damaging particulates continually up toward the ceiling.
 The scientists realized that as air circulated across the ceiling the frescoes absorbed dirt and moisture, and that surface condensation, when it occurred, was encouraging mold growth and salt and other chemical deposits.
 Carrier's engineers knew that condensation must be completely avoided and air flow strictly controlled. Control of the relative humidity inside the chapel was critical because fluctuations would allow the movement of moisture into and out of the plaster, and maintenance of an even temperature was essential to avoid expansion and contraction of the frescoe's plaster.
 They also knew that any air introduced into the chapel must be thoroughly cleaned and purified, and that the frescoes' surface temperature, air temperature and dew point must be constantly monitored.
 The engineers therefore designed the environmental control system to stabilize the humidity at 55 percent (+/- five percent), and the temperature between 25 degrees Celsius (+/- 1 degree Celsius) and 20 degrees Celsius (+/- 1 degree Celsius) -- depending on the season of the year -- with systems to chemically filter and purify all air before it entered the chapel.
 In addition, given the nature of the Sistine Chapel, it was essential that the actual air-conditioning plant, piping, cable and sensors be concealed. Thus Carrier's chiller was assembled and placed far below the chapel, with 92 sensors, ducts and other equipment artfully placed within the walls and ceiling.
 The conditioned air, after being ducted up the Sistine Chapel's outside wall, is now distributed through diffusers concealed beneath the chapel's six south windows to create two separate air flow patterns: one flowing over the surface of the frescoes at low velocity, and the second providing a "shower" of conditioned air from above, extracted at floor level, to ensure visitors' comfort.
 A complete system of sensors now controls the entire installation, with two computer terminals, one in the Vatican's energy center and the other at the control of the Vatican's restoration scientists, continually displaying data to be monitored.
 The Carrier environmental control system designed for the Sistine Chapel includes a Carrier chiller with a capacity of 200 kWs, a Carrier- manufactured air handling unit capable of moving 17,000 cubic meters of conditioning and treated air, pumps, cooling towers, an auxiliary boiler, ductwork, six specially designed combined air diffusers and attenuators, 26 kms of shielded cable and 92 sensors. Most of the equipment is soundproofed and redundancy of much of the equipment was intentionally incorporated to avoid the necessity of duplicating the installation for many years.
 Carrier Corporation, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX), is the world's largest manufacturer of air conditioning, heating and refrigeration equipment for commercial, residential and transportation refrigeration applications. Carrier markets its products in more than 130 countries worldwide, with its headquarters in Farmington, Conn., U.S.A.
 United Technologies Corp. designs and manufactures high-technology products for the aerospace, building systems and automotive markets. The Hartford, Conn.-based corporation's best-known products include Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines, Carrier air conditioning units, Otis elevators, Sikorsky helicopters, Norden defense systems, Hamilton Standard aerospace systems and U.T. Automotive components and systems.
 -0- 6/4/93
 /CONTACT: Robert Strickland of United Technologies, 203-674-3133/
 (UTX)


CO: Carrier Corporation; United Technologies Corp. ST: Connecticut IN: MAC, ENV SU:

DJ -- NE001 -- 5319 06/04/93 09:01 EDT
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Date:Jun 4, 1993
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