Director Named for Vatican Museums

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 4, 2007 ( Benedict XVI named professor Antonio Paolucci, former Italian culture minister and leading art expert, as director of the Vatican Museums.

The Vatican press office announced today that Paolucci, 68, will succeed Francesco Buranelli, named secretary for the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church and inspector for the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology.

Paolucci has been art superintendent in Venice, head of Florence museums and Italy's culture minister in 1995-96. After the earthquake that struck Assisi in 1997, he served as the government commissioner who oversaw the restoration work on the Basilica of St. Francis.

The Italian native is married and has a son.