Criterion
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  Finance, Philanthropy, Social Innovation, Technology

Vatican Unveils Controversial Philanthropy App


Tuesday, 25th August 2015 at 11:35 am
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist
The Pope has entered the world of crowdfunding with the Vatican unveiling a controversial art philanthropy app.

Tuesday, 25th August 2015
at 11:35 am
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Vatican Unveils Controversial Philanthropy App
Tuesday, 25th August 2015 at 11:35 am

The Pope has entered the world of crowdfunding with the Vatican unveiling a controversial art philanthropy app.

The Patrons of the Arts of the Vatican Museums recently launched Patrum, an app that uses crowdsourced fundraising to help the Vatican pay for restoring its massive art collection.

The Patrons hailed the new tool as the first ever cultural institution app bringing together instant chat technology, crowdsourced fundraising, and online community building.

While the patrons have touted Patrum as a way for art lovers to share their passion with like-minded individuals and connect with staff curators, it also allows them to donate to restoration projects.

Art critic Jonathan Jones wrote in the Guardian UK recently that the app could be the start of something dangerous.

He said it brought to mind the restoration of the Sistine Chapel in the 1980s, which he claims was restored in a way that was too extreme.

“Patrum sounds lovely and philanthropic, but it is pandering to the culture of restoration that does as much harm as good. Italy is full of artistic marvels. They need careful protection and obviously, that includes restoring where restoring is essential. But it is a delicate balance,” Jones said.

“The problem with restoration is that it excites people – it becomes a story – and in a country full of old things, it allows modern generations to make the past their own, or make it new. Come and see the new improved David! Roll up for the latest version of The Last Supper!

“It would be a shame if Patrum led to misguided enthusiasm from loaded art lovers to splurge on polishing the Laocoön or glossing up Leonardo’s St Jerome.”

Meanwhile, others within the philanthropy community have decried one of the wealthiest religious organisations turning to crowdfunding to pay for restoring its own treasure trove of art.

The Patrons said however that the Vatican Museums are the main generator of funds for the City State as all papal masses and audiences are free of admission.

“Most people are unaware that revenue from the ticket sales are only able to cover basic maintenance, insurance, security and staff leaving little money for restoration or modernization,” the Patrons said.

“The Patrons provide the main source of revenue for the Vatican Museums’ art restoration projects which include Catholic and sacred art from all traditions as a method to reach out to the some thousands of visitors that come each day. We also fund various artistic and educational experiences for children and the visually and hearing impaired, marking the first of their kind in Italy.”


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.


Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

New Brooms: How Younger Givers Are Changing Family Philanthropy

Fiona Higgins

Wednesday, 12th September 2018 at 11:11 am

Increasing Transparency of Australian Philanthropy

Luke Michael

Thursday, 6th September 2018 at 3:56 pm

US Philanthropy Leader Warns Against Spending On ‘Fad’ Issues

Maggie Coggan

Wednesday, 5th September 2018 at 5:08 pm

ASX50 Invests Over $800 million in Community Causes

Maggie Coggan

Wednesday, 22nd August 2018 at 6:17 pm

POPULAR

Family Faces ‘Devastating’ Loss of Support for Son with Disability

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 11th September 2018 at 8:37 am

$50 million Up For Grabs to Help NFPs Drive Change

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 17th September 2018 at 4:21 pm

Australia’s Most Innovative NFPs Highlighted

Luke Michael

Thursday, 13th September 2018 at 8:41 am

Philanthropic Leader Calls to Overhaul Economic System

Maggie Coggan

Thursday, 13th September 2018 at 8:52 am

Criterion
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!