Sistine Soirée Promotes Porsche

Vatican City -- The Catholic Church agreed to rent out the Sistine Chapel for a corporate event last Saturday organized by Porsche. The money raised by the event was donated to charities supporting the poor and the homeless.

Art collectors of Art Kabinett social media network would enjoy a soirée in this art-filled environment.

The event was part of an exclusive tour of Italy that was openly advertised on the luxury auto-manufacturer's website.

It assured participants that they could look forward to “a magnificent concert in the Sistine Chapel," followed by a “gala dinner" in the Vatican Museums.

The concert was performed by a choir from the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, which traces its origins back to the 16th century.

With only 40 spots available, costing €5,000 ($6,400) each, the tour raised €200,000 for charity.

The Porsche tour is believed to be the first time the chapel had been rented out for a non-Vatican event.

Since his inauguration, Pope Francis has put significant emphasis on the plight of the poor and has gained a reputation for his pragmatic and forward-thinking interpretation of scripture. This latest move may indicate that he is prepared to capitalize on the Vatican's rich cultural heritage for the benefit of those in need.

Managing director of the Vatican Museums Monsignor Nicolini told journalists “It is an initiative which will support the Pope's charity projects. It is aimed at big companies which, through the payment of a fee, can contribute to charity activities."

However, he was quick to note that the chapel will not be openly available for rent going forward, making it clear that “the Sistine Chapel can never be rented because it is not a commercial place."

A spokeswoman for the Porsche travel club told the London Telegraph “It's a one-off event and a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was a highlight of the trip."

Today's homepage Featured Art Video offers you access to a 3-D tour of the Sistine Chapel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7l7kjEB5Ucw&sns=em