The website contains 3.5 million objects and is the result of a project that started 16 years ago.
It contains listings and pictures of
paintings, sculptures, ornaments, crucifixes altarpieces and other
items belonging to Italy’s 63,733 churches and 216 dioceses.
It is an
ongoing project which will be continually updated.
database will include the Church’s architectural heritage and literary
archives. Search can be by artist, subject matter, object, diocese and
According to The Art Newspaper:
“Tomaso Montanari, an art historian at Università Federico II in
Naples, says: “It’ll be years before this task is complete.”
the search engine and navigation need much fine-tuning. It’s an
enormous job and it’s still rough around the edges, but anything that
promotes the knowledge and preservation of the Church’s artistic
heritage can only be good for the country,” he says, adding that
“catalogued items will now be harder to sell on the black market”.
not surprised at some of the gaps in the database. “The heritage [in
Florence and Naples] is so vast it’s no wonder they haven’t finished
cataloguing it yet,” he says.”
However, the site is primarily in Italian and it is
not easy for an English speaker to navigate.
Initial funding of the
project, which is a collaboration of the Church and various arms of the
Italian government, was set at €51.6 million.