The Vatican has announced plans to launch an NFT gallery to ‘democratize art’ and give people access to over 800 artworks, manuscripts and artefacts by a number of artists including Raphael, Michelangelo, Wassily Kandinsky and Vincent van Gogh. In a press release, it explains “The public-private partnership aims to extend the availability of the Vatican’s heritage — manuscripts, masterpieces, and academic initiatives — to people who otherwise won’t be able to experience it.”
The project is happening in collaboration with Sensorium, an entertainment VR company that creates immersive virtual experiences for iconic artists, and Humanity 2.0, a Vatican-affiliated non-profit organization that “identifies impediments to human flourishing” and “facilitates collaborative ventures between the traditionally siloed public, private and faith-based sectors” to source innovative solutions for a better future.
Father Philip Larrey, author of several books on the ethical implication of artificial intelligence and director of Humanity 2.0, explained the goal of the exhibition. “We look forward to working with Sensorium to explore ways to democratize art, making it more available to people around the world, regardless of their socioeconomic and geographic limitations. Partnering with Sensorium takes this goal one step further and equips us with the latest technology solutions.”
The exhibition will be part of the Sensorium Galaxy metaverse (for now in beta version), which will allow users to visit the museum’s various collections through augmented reality devices, computer screens and mobile phones, view live broadcasts and create NPCs to communicate with the virtual exhibition content.
The Vatican is not the first museum to launch NFTs. The Austrian Belvedere Museum in Vienna released an NFT collection of Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss” (1907-1908), but it is one of the biggest projects of its kind. The opening date, however, is yet to be announced.
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