Not all are in favor of the Vatican Museums' Patrum, a new app designed as a philanthropic crowdfunding venture to support the treasures in the Vatican. The Guardian's Jonathan Jones, for one, thinks the app could lead to restoration projects that are more harmful than good for art and artifacts.
"Most restoration projects are pompous acts of self-promotion that cover museums in scaffolding and close galleries for no good purpose," writes Jones.
Case in point: The Vatican's massive and controversial restoration of Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Sponsored by the Nippon Television Network Corporation for $4.2m in the 80s, the project has rasied the ire of some critics who say the masterpiece was adversely altered by overcleaning and overpainting.
The app has raised concerns with ArtWatch International's Ruth Osborne, who writes, "What we would like to know is: are works of art not really needing conservation treatment being pushed for it just to cultivate donors who can give to the Museum in other forms? Are works being unnecessarily touched by conservators and, thereby, forever altered?"