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Vatican Museums Launches Fundraising, 'Art Lovers Platform,' App

‘Patrum’ App Hopes to Generate Funds for Restoration Projects

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The Vatican Museums has launched a fundraising app–said to be an “exciting platform for art lovers”–which can be downloaded for free from the App Store.

In a press release, the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums announced ‘Patrum,’ targeted at patrons and donors and intended to raise needed funds for several major restoration projects. There is a requested minimum donation of $10.

In existence since 1982 when a major exhibition went to the cities of New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums remains dedicated to preserving the collection of art housed in the Vatican Museums. Since it began, interested people helped restore the works from that exhibition and since then, the number of patrons continues to grow.

“Patrum is the first ever cultural institution app bringing together instant chat technology, crowdsource fundraising, and online community building,” the release stated, noting the app “is your connection to engaging deeply and instantly with the art in the Vatican Museums, revolutionizing the accessibility and understanding of one of the most famous collections in the world.”

It goes on to list what the app enables one to do: “Discover the Vatican Museums collection behind the scenes; Receive daily updated ‘in the know’ Vatican Museums news; Comment on your favorite works of art; Interest your favorite works of art and news to receive tailored alerts; Chat fellow art lovers; Donate to restoration projects; Instantly chat with Patrons staff curators; Connect with current Patrons (or become one!).”

According to the digital initiatives manager in the Museums’ patrons office, Juliana Biondo, “We want to create a platform in which, for example, a patron from Ohio could speak with one from Monte Carlo about a work of art they both like, a shared experience in Rome, or a great art event they recently went to,” reported the

A feature of the app, she highlighted, is how it allows users to delve into the collection, including works of Raphael, Botticelli, and Michelangelo. 

The representative explained the different levels of patronage. “Silver Patrons” are those who contribute to restoration schemes, while “gold patrons” have individually funded entire restoration projects and receive certain benefit, such as “receiving access to a direct messaging service to the patrons office curators.”

The source notes the Museums are hoping to fund two projects in particular: one, the restoration and partial restitching of a French-style, 18th-century tapestry which costs $129,900, two, the conservation of five painted 13th- and 14th-century scrolls by the Chinese calligrapher Zhao Yong to cost $140,975. With the app, users can donate to the current restoration projects, with the requested minimum donation being $10 dollars.

It also noted that a newsfeed, to be issued tri-weekly, will inform users of the progress of conservation projects.

The Vatican Musuems was founded in 1506.

The Vatican Museums, having generated $87 million in ticket sales’ revenue last year, is one of the largest income generators for the Vatican City State. With the State receiving half and the remainder going toward the Museums’ operating costs–including salaries for some 800 employees and building maintenance, “There is very little left to spend on restoration projects for the art collection,” Biondo stated.

For more information about the app, one is invited to write to the patrons at (D.C.L.)


On the NET:

Vatican Museums’ Official Site (English):

Download here: 

Vatican Patrons: 

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