This week, the Vatican surprised everyone by officially announcing the launch of its own collection of non-fungible tokens (NFT). The agreement was signed earlier this month, on May 2, between the company Sensorium, which specializes in the creation of metaverses, and Humanity 2.0, a foundation sponsored by the Vatican.
In response to the many speculations around this issue this decision by the Vatican to integrate the world of web 3.0, the Holy See has specified that the goal of this project to digitize part of its works of art, rare objects and manuscripts in order to leave a trace in history by exhibiting them in a virtual gallery. According to the explanations provided by the Vatican press release, it is above all a question of using technology for the benefit of art. The new trend of virtualisation is a way like any other to democratize art in order to allow a wider audience to access it.
“Exploring means of democratizing art, in order to make it more accessible to peoples around the world, regardless of their socio-economic limitations and geographics.”
In practice, the Vatican aims to integrate the world of digital art without trying to profit from it. The Papal State wishes to create a virtual museum in the metaverse to make works of art more open to the general public. The idea of selling tokens of Michelangelo, the Pope or La Creation of Adam, not yet part of the project. And still none Blockchain project, or application for the purchase of crypto currencies, is not in progress yet.
“The nature of this project […] is exclusively social and not commercial”.
In its press release, the Vatican clarified that the partnership signed between Humanity 2.0 and Sensorium aims to develop “the very first gallery of NFT accessible in VR”. This gallery will contain exclusively works of art from the Vatican, as well as “academic initiatives”. The Vatican Museum, like the pontificate, is one of the richest and most visited places in the world, because it exhibits the works made by the greatest artists such as Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo or and Salvador Dali. This museum will be located directly into the Galaxy of Sensorium and should be opened by the end of the current year. Sensorium promises a completely immersive visit to users who will be able to use their VR headsets to browse the museum.
Creation of a virtual museum is not the first experience with the Vatican project. The metaverse already has some renowned museums like:
British Museum in London.