‘Secret room’ decorated by Michelangelo to open to the public in Italy​

It is believed that the artist hid in the claustrophobic space for several weeks in 1530 when pope Clement VII – a member of the Medici family, who had recently returned to power in Florence, having been kicked out by a republican government for whom Michelangelo had worked – ordered his death. The death sentence was rescinded after two months, and Michelangelo returned to work in Florence, before moving to Rome four years later.

It’s believed the drawings are sketches for future works, including the legs of one of the statues in the New Sacristy.