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Chimney attached to Sistine Chapel roof ahead of conclave

Saturday, Mar 09, 2013 - 01:43

March 9 - Work crews in harnesses negotiated the roof of the Sistine Chapel to install a chimney which will be used to indicate when a new pope has been selected. Deborah Gembara reports.

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With days to go before cardinals meet to elect a new Pope, teams are hard at work to make sure the Sistine Chapel is ready. Today's task --- attaching a chimney to the roof. Workmen in safety harnesses spent the day negotiating the steep incline to put the small unit in place, making adjustments as needed. The chimney and the smoke coming from it --- are how the conclave will signal their progress to the outside world. Twice a day, the cardinals will burn their ballots in a cast iron stove that dates back 1939 while a second more modern stove will be use to send up the smoke. White smoke, seen here in 2005, means they've chosen a new Pope. Black smoke means they're still working on it. Inside the chapel, custom built tables and chairs are being in put in place as well as a special walkway. Vatican Press Secretary, Father Thomas Rosica. SOUNDBITE: FATHER THOMAS ROSICA, PRESS SECRETARY OF THE VATICAN, SAYING: "The reason why there is an elevated floor is because the Sistine Chapel has an uneven pavement. There are two, if not three different levels plus the steps going up to the church. To facilitate a dignified procession and taking into account that people walk in, there's construction that goes on so that the whole section where the tables are, be level." One hundred and fifteen cardinals will participate in the conclave which kicks off on Tuesday.

Chimney attached to Sistine Chapel roof ahead of conclave

Saturday, Mar 09, 2013 - 01:43

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