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Vatican Library Launches NFT Project for Cultural Preservation

The Vatican Library announced plans on Monday to increase Web3 adoption by offering non-transferable NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) to supporters of its manuscript collections.

The initiative, currently in an “experimental” phase, is limited to donors from Italy who support the Vatican Apostolic Library. The library, renowned for its vast collection of ancient manuscripts and printed books, outlined the project in a statement. Italians who promote the NFT project on their social media profiles until July 16 will receive a “Silver NFT,” granting them access to a unique set of high-resolution images featuring 15 manuscripts from the library.

In addition, donors will be rewarded with a “Gold NFT,” providing access to all high-resolution images of the selected manuscripts. Looking ahead, the initiative may expand to include virtual exploration of the library through immersive XR (extended reality) technology.

The Apostolic Library is housed within Vatican City in a historic building dating back to the late 16th century.

Vatican Library Hints at Immersive Reality Experiences with Web3 Push

The Vatican has announced a partnership with Japanese technology giant NTT DATA to harness Web3 technology and foster a stronger online community. The collaboration aims to enhance connectivity between the Vatican Library and its supporters through this innovative approach.

NTT DATA, which disclosed plans last year to invest significantly in Web3 infrastructure, committing up to $4 billion, is also delving deeper into the cryptocurrency space. One of its subsidiaries is poised to launch its own crypto wallet by the end of 2024.

Looking ahead, the Vatican Library has hinted at the possibility of offering virtual or augmented reality tours of its historic premises. Father Mauro Mantovani, the prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Library, emphasized the importance of preserving and promoting their cultural heritage, stating, “I believe that our heritage requires special attention and dedication.”

The Vatican Library’s Digital Transformation for a Modern World

With its new Web3 initiative, the Vatican Library continues its longstanding tradition of public outreach. Established in the 14th century, the library traces its origins to the 4th century as part of the Catholic Church’s extensive collection of historical documents. This latest project underscores the library’s ongoing dedication to making its ancient treasures accessible to a broader audience.

In 2020, the Vatican launched a revamped website for its library, enhancing user experience with improved search functionalities and streamlined access to digitized artifacts. Visitors can now explore high-resolution replicas of manuscripts, archival materials, coins, medals, and even incunabula—early European printed works predating the 16th century.

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