Vatican art database goes online

January 3 2013

Image of Vatican art database goes online

Picture: Freemages

Ermanno Rivetti in The Art Newspaper has exciting news about a new Vatican online database:

The Vatican has published a vast online catalogue of the Italian Catholic Church’s artistic heritage. The project, which began 16 years ago, is ongoing but in the meantime the Church hopes the database will help in the recovery of works if they are stolen.

The website contains almost 3.5m objects, from paintings and sculptures to ornaments, crucifixes, altarpieces and other items belonging to some of Italy’s 63,773 churches in 216 dioceses. The database will be subject regularly updated. Thousands of works held in the churches of certain dioceses, such as those of Florence and Naples, are still to be catalogued.

The project is a collaboration between Church and State, involving the dioceses, the Ministry of Culture, the Italian Episcopal Conference and the National Office for Ecclesiastical Heritage. Initial funding was set at around €51.6m.

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