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First woman appointed to head Vatican Museums

Barbara Jatta

Pope Francis has chosen, for the first time, a woman to head the Vatican Museums. The Catholic News Service reports.

Barbara Jatta, 54, is an Italian art historian and graphic arts expert, who had been serving as vice-director of the museums since June.

The Vatican announced yesterday that she will begin her new role as director of the museums on January 1, replacing Antonio Paolucci, 77, who had been director since 2007.

Ms Jatta started working at the Vatican in 1996 when she was hired to head the Vatican Library's departments of prints. In 2010, she was named curator of the artwork in the prints department at the library.

She has degrees in literature, archive administration, and art history, specialising in the history of drawing, engraving, and graphic arts.

She also taught history of graphic arts at the Suor Orsola Benincasa University in Naples.

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Pope names first woman to head Vatican Museums