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Caravaggio Wheelchair Sicily Accessible Tours
Caravaggio Wheelchair Accessible Tours

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The Burial of St Lucia, created by Michelangelo Merisi, better known as Caravaggio, in 1608 is certainly the most important pictorial work in Siracusa and one of the must-see destinations for tourists visiting the city.

However, identifying the correct place where the work is displayed is not always immediate, especially if you rely on paper guides or dated internet pages.

This is because the work has changed its exhibition location several times in recent years.

Originally Caravaggio created the work for the main altar of the Church of St Lucia extra moenia built near the traditional place of martyrdom of the Siracusa saint and above the catacombs of the same name.

The painting was completed in two months and was already exhibited for the celebrations of 13 December 1608.

Once the canvas was completed, Caravaggio continued his escape and was in Messina and then in Palermo.

Having received the news of the possible papal grace, he left for Rome again but never reached the capital: he died in Porto Ercole on 16 July 1610, probably of pneumonia or intestinal infections.

Caravaggio In Siracusa

In recent decades, however, the absence of adequate safety measures and environmental conditions for the correct conservation of the painting has led to its transfer to other places in Siracusa several times.

For many years the painting was exhibited in the rooms of the Regional Gallery of Palazzo Bellomo, in Ortigia.

It was then transferred from its home for restoration operations carried out by the central restoration institute and a subsequent exhibition held in Rome in 2010.

Upon its return to Siracusa, for a short period it was exhibited in the church for which it was painting, the Church of St Lucia.

However, the lack of safety and environmental control systems led to a new transfer.

The exhibition venue with an optimal position has brought many tourists in recent years to admire Caravaggio's work and, in 2019 also the temporary exhibition of another painting attributed to him.

However, there has been no shortage of controversy over the years.

In part, the distortion of the context was contested, depriving the painting of the church for which it was created.

On the other hand, given the importance of the work, there continued to be critical issues in its use as Caravaggio's painting could only be visited by the public for a few hours a day.

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