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Meteor Installed at the Vatican

March 12, 2013
Tipografia Vaticana's new Meteor press with an extended 13 x 40-inch format.
Tipografia Vaticana's new Meteor press with an extended 13 x 40-inch format.

As thousands of eyes continued to watch the specially installed chimney on the Sistine Chapel’s roof for telltale sign that 115 voting cardinals have decided on their new pope, some of the Vatican’s first official correspondence about this ultimate catholic succession will be printed on a new Meteor DP8700 XL press.

The church’s recently installed MGI Meteor sits in the Vatican’s in-plant operation, known as Tipografia Vaticana (Tipografia translates as typography in English).

The printing operation was established in 1587 by Pope Sixtus V. It is responsible for printing everything from magazines to brochures and all of the Vatican’s stationary and envelopes, along with several magazines and art publications for the museums and the Vatican Library.

Tipografia Vaticana, which runs both sheetfed and web-offset presses, also produces the Vatican’s weekly newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano (The Roman Observer). The first issue of L'Osservatore Romano was published on 1 July 1861, just four months after the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed in March of that year. Pope Leo XIII acquired ownership of L'Osservatore in 1885, which began to establish the newspaper as the Vatican’s official news service.

The Tipografia Vaticana’s installation of the Meteor DP8700 XL press was handled by MGI’s Italian distribution partner, Agfa Graphics. The press is engineered to run up to 4,260 letter-size (A4) pages per hour or 2,280 A3-size pages per hour. It has standard format size of 13 x 26 inches, which can be extended to 13 x 40 inches through an optional upgrade.

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