July 16, 2002

Popemobile on Display at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa

Ottawa – The Canada Science and Technology Museum is displaying a Popemobile from July 19 to August 2 in recognition of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Toronto for World Youth Day celebrations.

The vehicle was one of two originally built for Pope John Paul II’s tour of Canada in September 1984, after an attempt to assassinate the Pope in 1981 prompted the Vatican to demand more protection for him. The vehicle was also loaned to Cuba for the Pope’s 1998 visit there. It is now part of the museum’s permanent collection, while the second Canadian Popemobile is kept in a Vatican garage.

The Popemobile was built by Camions Pierre Thibault, a Quebec emergency vehicle maker. Designed to keep the Pope fully protected, yet fully visible, the vehicle is heated, air-conditioned, has seats made of Paris velvet and a Vatican-red coloured carpet. The truck section of the Popemobile was donated by GM Canada, and the bullet-proof “glass” is made of Lexguard plastic donated by GE Canada.

Due to a need for Pope John Paul II to remain seated as he tours, a new Popemobile has been built for this summer’s papal visit to Toronto, July 25 to 28.

The Popemobile will be on display in the museum at 1867 St. Laurent Blvd., Ottawa, Ontario, from Friday, July 19 to Friday, August 2. The museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Admission is $6; $3 for children (ages 4-14); $5 for students and seniors; $14 for a family (2 adults and 3 children); children under 3 are free.

For general information, visit www.science-tech.nmstc.ca or call (613) 991-3044.

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