Vatican turns Sistine Chapel into NFT

A virtual gallery of the Sistine Chapel and its most beautiful works of art, this is the original project that the Vatican plans to create in the coming months thanks to a partnership, signed on May 2, the innovative company specializing in Virtual Sensorium in reality. This virtual gallery of the Vatican collections is said to consist of NFT (non-fungible token), digital files of exceptional quality, non-reproducible and tamper-proof, which have been driving pixel collectors and markets crazy for several months. The idea would be to provide easy access to more than 800 works by 250 artists, including the famous Sistine Chapel paintings, presented in NFT format, in a virtual reality museum. Access to Vatican manuscripts and events would also be on the agenda.

An association and a priest behind the project

This project is at the heart of a partnership launched by Sensorium and Humanity 2.0. The first is a company that presents itself as a frontrunner in the development of metaverses, these persistent virtual universes that are accessible today thanks to the technology of 3D (three-dimensional) interaction. She works in particular with a view to its development in the field of entertainment and social networks. The other, Humanity 2.0, is an NGO committed to development based on respect for people, especially in technology. Its chairman is Father Philip Larrey, a Catholic priest who holds the chair of logic and epistemology at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.

As Dean of the Philosophy Department, he is mainly concerned with philosophy of knowledge and critical thinking, with a particular interest in the implications of the new digital age for society. His latest book is about the challenges of artificial intelligence. † He candidly challenges the leaders he meets in the Vatican to discuss how technology is shaping our society says his presentation on his personal website. At his side, within the advisory board of Humanity 2.0, we find the president of Publicis, Maurice Lévy, or that of Noovle Carlo d’Asaro Biondo, also former head of Google’s European operations. It was again Father Larrey who was present during the audience that Pope Francis granted to the president of Alphabet (Google), Eric Schmidt, in 2016.

Like Dominican Father Eric Salobir, Philip Larrey is one of those people who understood that the Vatican could not ignore these new realities and that they should not be discovered too late, 30 years from now, when they will be democratized. “Said a Vatican observer.” It is also an opportunity to act upstream to prevent ethical abuses “, he underlines, while acknowledging that these questions are not yet ” good press in the Catholic world.

A technology for good orientation according to the Pope

While the Vatican and Silicon Valley often seem like two worlds at odds with each other, many bridges have been built between them in recent years. Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ (2015) sharply criticized the ” technology, linked to the financial sectors, which claims to be the only solution to the problems » and more generally the existence of a « techno-economic paradigm “even” technocratic » endanger society and the environment. However, he also believed that ” techno science, well-oriented, can not only produce really valuable things to improve people’s quality of life […] but is still able to produce and “project” beauty into the realm of beauty, the human being immersed in the material world

In 2020, Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy of Life, managed to get Microsoft No. 2, Brad Smith, to sign a “Call from Rome for an Ethics of Artificial Intelligence.” A document aimed at promoting a sense of responsibility in the organizations that invest in this technology today so that they serve the people and are not ” progressive replacement

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