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Italian bank to donate paintings for pope’s charities

Madonna and Child by Cerchia di Michelangelo Buonarroti

Michelangelo | CC BY-SA 4.0

John Burger - published on 01/15/21

UniCredit plans to auction artwork in order to support papal initiatives.

Art imitates life, and sometimes life imitates art. Now, with an initiative called Art4Future, art will help support life for the beneficiaries of several papal charities.

The Italian bank UniCredit is planning to auction several paintings it has in its collection and donate the proceeds to charity initiatives to be chosen by Pope Francis.

A spokeswoman for UniCredit said Thursday that neither the auction date nor the charities have yet been determined.

“The auction will take place in Italy and timings will be confirmed and communicated by UniCredit and Christie’s in due course,” said Tuulike Tuulas. “Details on the charities chosen by the pope to benefit from the sale proceeds will also be communicated in due time.”

UniCredit representatives met with the pope at the Vatican on January 8 and presented him with the Art4Future initiative.

“The Art4Future project involves the sale of selected artworks belonging to UniCredit Group in Italy and abroad to support significant social and solidarity initiatives through the corresponding allocation of the sale proceeds,” according to the bank. “The relevant initiatives include activities carried out by the bank directly as well as through its Social Impact Banking program and the UniCredit Foundation. The project is already in progress and an important part of UniCredit’s continued commitment to contribute to the development of a fairer and more inclusive society.”

Pope Francis agreed to the proposal and the three paintings in question were subsequently presented to him last Friday. They are: Madonna and Child by Cerchia di Michelangelo Buonarroti, early 1500; Adoration of the Child by Luca Baudo, 1500; and Portrait of Mother and Daughter by Antonio Donghi, 1942.

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