But what does the Vatican do in NFTs and the meta-verse?

The Holy See has, to say the least, made a surprising announcement: it is being launched in NFTs and the meta-verse.

The Vatican is not known for being one of the most modern institutions in the world. The papacy, however, made a rather surprising announcement on May 2, 2022: Humanity 2.0, a fund monitored by the Vatican, has entered into an agreement with the company Sensorium, which specializes in the construction of metavers. The goal ? Create a virtual gallery where the Vatican’s works will be exhibited in the form of NFT.

NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have become a worldwide phenomenon in a very short time. They act as certificates of authenticity registered on a blockchain, which makes it possible to ensure that all files are truly unique. It is this feature that has enabled the technology to become extremely popular and create a real virtual art market in a very short time – and this art market is interesting for more and more people.


At Paris NFT Day, the meeting place for NFT collectors // Source: Aurore Gayte for Numerama

Michelangelo’s NFTs?

The Vatican’s ambition is not to enter this art market or to participate in NFT sales: the Pope’s ambition is to create a virtual museum. There are currently no plans to create Pope tokens or Adam’s creation, nor to put them up for sale. Likewise, the Holy See has not announced any plans to create a blockchain or participate in the purchase of cryptocurrencies.

The Vatican, soon available in the meta-verse.  // Source: Jae Park / Unsplash
The Vatican, soon available in the meta-verse. // Source: Jae Park / Unsplash

Vatican Press Release Clarifies that Humanity 2.0 and Sensorium “ will work on the development of the very first NFT gallery available in VR “. This gallery will house the works of art owned by the Vatican, as well as its” academic initiatives (we also do not really know what that means).

In fact, the idea is quite good: the Vatican Museum is one of the richest and most visited in the world and houses masterpieces by some of the greatest artists of the time, such as Michelangelo. , Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali and even Pablo Picasso.

The Vatican Virtual Museum is to be housed in the Sensorium metaverse, which the company is building. Called “Galaxy”, the meta-verse is currently in beta and will be officially launched ” later that year “.” To ensure an experience accessible to as many people as possible, this platform will be accessible through the most popular interfaces. “, Also clarifies the press release. ” Users will be able to use their VR headset to be completely immersed, or visit the museum on PC with an augmented reality experience. »

The press release also refers to a ” Application “, which could be used for” watch streams, build their own NPCs and communicate with them (it is not specified whether the NPCs will be of biblical origin only or whether a Batman avatar could eventually be created). In short, it is a very busy and quite ambitious program.

Museums are increasingly taking over NFTs

The announcement may seem surprising, and rightly so. The Vatican has never shown a particularly strong interest in new technologies, or even in cryptocurrencies and the blockchain. It is therefore particularly interesting to see that one of the most conservative institutions in the world is showing interest in NFTs.

However, it is more and more common for museums to start with non-exchangeable tokens: Several major institutions, such as the British Museum in London, the Belvedere in Vienna or the Uffizi in Florence, have already announced that they are selling NFT collections. During his campaign, Emmanuel Macron also said he wanted ” the main cultural institutions develop an NFT policy », A sign that NFTs are now an integral part of the art world.

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