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Frescoes impress out-of-towners

Vernon Dye of Austin flips through a book in the gift shop at the Museum of Texas Tech after viewing an exhibit of 31 frescoes on loan from the Vatican Museums. The exhibit is open through Sept. 15.
Matt Hempel Avalanche-Journal
A free exhibit featuring 31 medieval frescoes taken from churches in Rome is drawing visitors from across the state.

Alan Schnacke of Euless said he and his family were visiting relatives in Lubbock on Friday and decided to see the frescoes.

"I thought they were beautiful," Schnacke said. "I thought it was a good opportunity for people to see it who don't have the chance to go to Rome and see them."

The priceless pieces were created by master painters of the Roman school from 1250-1340. After "Medieval Frescoes from the Vatican Museums Collection" leaves the Museum of Texas Tech, the works will not be seen by the public until the year 2025.

Visitors have the option of taking a narrated tour using a headset, but Schnacke said he and his family decided to read the accompanying plaques and move at their own pace.

"I just liked seeing the difference between the two different churches," he said.

Brenda Johnson of San Antonio traveled to Lubbock to visit her family and met her sister, Paula Kohan of Dallas, at the exhibit. Both agreed the exhibit alone would have been worth the trip.

Kohan said she heard about the frescoes from a friend.

"She said, 'You've got to come out to see the frescoes,' so I got my tickets," Kohan said.

"Also, my daughter is going to be a senior in high school next year and she happens to be today at the Vatican, so I thought it would be a neat idea to come here and see the frescoes while she's seeing the real Vatican," Kohan said.

Shirley Rekers of Lubbock said the exhibit greatly ex ceeded her expectations.

"It was wonderful. Gosh, it was wonderful," she said. "I took the tape tour, and I liked hearing all about Christianity at that time."

Elaine Odem of Ropesville said the tape tour gave the art more impact.

"It wouldn't be nearly the same without the tape," she said. "I thought the background music added something. It made you feel like you were in one of those old churches."

C.L. Store of Lubbock said the colors were surprisingly vivid.

"Considering the age of it, the art was just fantastic," he said.

The exhibit will run through Sept. 15 at the museum on Fourth Street and Indiana Avenue. Tickets are free, but reservations must be made.

Jane Allred can be contacted at 766-8714

The exhibit has ended
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