Who said the city of the popes was not interested in new technologies? The Vatican just announced its first crypto project.
Non-fungible tokens in the Vatican
The Vatican is a major holder of works of art and has a collection whose size remains unsuspected. It is estimated that some 800 works, including those by Raphael and Michelangelo, including more modern paintings by Van Gogh, are hidden within the walls of the City of the Popes. But the latter will soon be able to be rediscovered by the public thanks to a rather special project related to NFTs.
The for-profit organization Humanity 2.0, which is run by the Vatican, recently teamed up with virtual reality company Sensorium to open a gallery of NFTs. Accessible by wearing a virtual reality headset or online on a simple computer, the Vatican Gallery will display all the works of art, manuscripts and other treasures held by the Holy See. Philip Larrey, president of Humanity 2.0, hopes these non-replaceable tokens will bring a little entertainment and discovery to an increasingly connected population.
We look forward to working with Sensorium to explore ways to democratize art, making it more widely accessible to people around the world, regardless of their socio-economic and geographic limitations.
Philip Larrey in a statement announcing the project
Still, art aficionados are preparing to ditch their wallets: The NFTs are minted in one copy and used only for the exhibition. No sale is planned and it will be impossible for visitors to acquire their favorite artwork.
The nature of this project initiated by Humanity 2.0 is exclusively social and non-commercial. Also, NFTs here do not have to be of works of art, but can also contain tickets and other objects.
Statement by a Vatican Representative for Art News
It will thus be possible to view the various works exhibited only with the eyes. However, lovers of virtual worlds will be able to find their account there, as the Vatican aims to provide an immersive and social experience where everyone can interact with other people.
Users can connect to VR headsets to experience true immersion, use a PC to access an augmented reality experience or download the mobile app to watch streams, create unique NPCs and interact with them.
Excerpt from the press release announcing the project
The opening date of the gallery has not yet been announced. More news should be announced very soon, with the aim of making NFTs available later this year.
NFTs are the new representatives of art
The Vatican Gallery is arguably one of the very first non-fungible symbolic projects to be considered public works in their own right, without being launched on the market. NFTs are being called upon around the world to be the new engine of art, either as a medium or to generate funds intended to fuel a project.
In France, a film is already running through this channel, while a caricature sale has been set up to defend freedom of expression. Nevertheless, it seems that non-replaceable tokens are taking up more and more space compared to traditional art and they may soon be called upon to replace the latter. Time will tell whether digital artworks succeeded in fulfilling their mission to rediscover art for the public or whether their success was only due to fad. Be that as it may, the digital as a medium and the future of art no longer seem proven.
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