The famous double-helix staircase (1932) in the Vatican Museums was designed by the architect and engineer Giuseppe Momo (1875-1940). The staircase (in reality two stepped ramps) was ingeniously designed to provide visitors with a separate route for ascending and descending to and from the museums.
Momo's staircase is decorated with the heraldic arms of Pope Pius XI (r. 1922-39). Unfortunately, since the new entrance to the Vatican Museums was opened in 2000, the staircase is only open to visitors wishing to descend.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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