Press Release

EMC Sponsors ‘Lux in Arcana - The Vatican Secret Archive Reveals Itself’ Exhibition

Over 100 Original Historical Documents, Cloistered in the Pope’s Secret Archive for 400 Years, Revealed at the Musei Capitolini in Rome

Story Highlights

  • EMC is the main sponsor of 'Lux in Arcana,' an exhibition which will bring into the public domain for the first time in 400 years 100 original historical documents from the Vatican Secret Archive. As part of the sponsorship, EMC revealed that the exhibition will include a letter written by Marie Antoinette while she was in prison in 1793. The letter was allegedly sent to Louis XVI's brother Charles Philippe, Count of Artois, who in 1824 became Charles X, King of France.
  • EMC's sponsorship is part of the company's 'Information Heritage Initiative,' which works to protect and preserve the world's information for future generations, and make it globally accessible in digital form for research and education purposes.
ROME, Italy, February 29, 2012 - 

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) today announced that it is the main sponsor of the 'Lux in Arcana' exhibition, taking place at the Musei Capitolini from 1st March to September 2012. The exhibition will reveal for the first time codes, files, scrolls, records and manuscripts of great historical value, preserved for 400 years in the Vatican Secret Archive.

As main sponsor, EMC revealed that one of the documents included in the exhibition is a letter by Marie Antoinette, written in 1793 while she was in prison to someone thought to be Louis XVI's brother Charles Philippe, Count of Artois, who in 1824 became Charles X, King of France. The letter, which is only ten lines in length, is handwritten on a sheet of ordinary paper folded in two. It reads, "The sentiments of those who share my pain, my dear brother-in-law, are the only consolation I can receive in this sad circumstance." The letter is then signed, "Your loving Sister-in-Law and Cousin Marie Antoinette." The clear and regular handwriting confirms that it was penned by Maria Antonia of Habsburg-Lorraine, daughter of Maria Theresa of Austria, who in 1770 had married the future King Louis XVI of France, and from then on was always called Marie Antoinette.

Other documents which visitors to the exhibition will be able to view date from the eighth century through to the twentieth century. These include:

  • A letter from the British Parliament to Pope Clement VII about King Henry VIII’s impending divorce
  • A silk cloth from the Empress Helena of China on her conversion to Catholism dated 4 November 1650
  • A letter from Michelangelo to Monsignor Christopher Spirits, Bishop of Cesena and the future patriarch of Jerusalem
  • The acts from the trial of Galileo Galilei
  • A letter written on birch bark by American Indians to Pope Leo XIII

EMC’s sponsorship forms part of its 'Information Heritage Initiative', which works to protect and preserve the world's information for future generations and make it globally accessible in digital form for research and education purposes. Many of the exhibits from 'Lux in Arcana' will be displayed on the exhibition's website, YouTube, and as projections, dynamic graphics and video at the exhibition itself. This will provide visitors with the historical context of the unveiled documents.

Past EMC Information Heritage Initiatives include: supporting the JFK Library (Boston, USA) in the process of digitizing and archiving its entire collection; creating a high-resolution, 3D digital reconstruction of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Codex of Flight' showcasing how Leonardo must have visualized the details of his 'flying machine'; and supporting the Herzogin Anna Amalia Library (Weimar, Germany), home to a unique collection of Faust first editions, to digitize its collections after a devastating fire in 2004 destroyed more than 50,000 books and manuscripts and severely damaged tens of thousands of other items.

'Lux in Arcana' brings together a number of organizations and institutional partners, including the Vatican's Secret Archive; Roma Capitale; the City's Office for Culture and History – Cultural Goods Surveillance; and Zètema Progetto Cultura.

Vatican Quote

Mr. Luca Carboni, Secretary General, Vatican Secret Archive

"The Vatican Secret Archive, a covetous keeper of these ancient and precious documents for 400 years, thanks EMC, the world's leader of Information Technology services, and therefore a thorough keeper of a huge information heritage, for the significant contribution they offered to support the "Lux in Arcana - The Vatican Secret Archive Reveals Itself'" exhibition, further showing the company's sensitivity to making history treasures accessible to a large audience."

EMC Executive Quotes

Michele Liberato, President of EMC Italia

"Photographs, diaries, film, letters, ancient writings, music, and visual art are all part of the world's information heritage. Yet many historical documents and cultural artifacts are at risk of disappearing because they remain undigitized. EMC is dedicated to helping to preserve and protect these incredibly valuable pieces of history. Through the generosity of the Vatican Secret Archive and the 'Lux in Arcana' exhibition we are excited to provide visitors and future generations with access and insight into historical events."

Fred Janssen, Head of Field Marketing EMEA, EMC

"The 'Lux in Arcana' exhibition itself marks a pivotal moment in history where two worlds collide; the old world of history and religion and the new world of state-of-the-art technology. It is a huge privilege to unite the cutting edge data in the present to secure humanities' rich cultural achievements of the past. EMC has chosen to invest its considerable resources in a sponsorship of this nature, rather than a transitory sporting event, as it understands the imperative of preserving history for future generations."

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