By Shanti Escalante-De Mattei
The Vatican will debut a NFT gallery so that audiences around the world can view the art, manuscripts, and other objects held in its collection.
The project is a collaboration between Sensorium, a VR company, and Humanity 2.0, a Vatican-led nonprofit that is working toward “human flourishing,” according to its website.
Humanity 2.0 is chaired by Father Philip Larrey, a unique presence in the Holy See. Father Larrey is the Chair of Logic and Epistemology at the Pontifical Lateran University in the Vatican, the Dean of the philosophy department, and the author of a couple books on the effect of technology on modern society and the philosophical implications of artificial intelligence.
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“We look forward to working with Sensorium to explore ways to democratize art, making it more widely available to people around the world regardless of their socio-economic and geographical limitations,” Father Larrey said in a statement. “The partnership with Sensorium brings this goal a step further and equips us with the latest tech solutions.”
It is expected that the gallery, which will be viewable through VR and on desktops, will be available sometime this year.
The Vatican is a repository of some of the finest art and objects in the world. The Vatican’s museum was founded in the 16th century and holds some 800 artworks, including works by artists of the Renaissance, such as Michelangelo and Raphael, as well as more modern works by the likes of Wassily Kandinsky and Vincent van Gogh.
The Vatican’s press representative claimed that the NFTs won’t be used to sell products or objects, though it is unclear what they will be used for. “The nature of this project for Humanity 2.0. is exclusively social and not commercial. Also, here NFTs don’t necessary have to come in a from of artworks, but can also include tickets and other objects,” the representative said.
Update 5/4/22 12:08 PM: The article was updated to include a quote from the Vatican’s press representative.
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