Swiss Guards on parade at the Easter Urbi et Orbi in St. Peter's Square Swiss Guards on parade at the Easter Urbi et Orbi in St. Peter's Square 

Swiss Guards launch fundraiser to renovate Vatican barracks

The Pontifical Swiss Guards sign an agreement with a foundation to raise funds to renovate their barracks within the Vatican City State, estimated to cost around 46 million Euro.

By Devin Watkins

The Holy See penned a deal on Wednesday with the “Foundation for the Renovation of the Barracks of the Pontifical Swiss Guards in the Vatican”.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and Jean-Pierre Roth and Stephan Kuhn, president and vice president, respectively, of the Foundation.

Mr. Denis Knobel, the Swiss Ambassador to the Holy See, and Colonel Christoph Graf, Commander of the Swiss Guards, were on hand for the signing ceremony.

Elements of the deal

According to a press release from the Swiss Guards, the agreement covers the renovation project in the fundraising and planning phases. A second agreement will be signed at a later time to govern the construction phase.

The Foundation agreed to carry out a fundraising campaign to cover the budgeted costs of the renovation project, which is estimated to amount to 45 million Swiss Franc (CHF), currently 46.4 million Euro.

The Vatican will cover the costs of temporary housing for the Guards during the construction phase, estimated at 5 million Swiss Franc (or 5.16 million Euro).

The Holy See will also submit the Foundation’s renovation plan to the relevant Vatican commissions and UNESCO.

After approval of the final project and budget, the Vatican will set a date to start construction, likely to come after the end of the Jubilee Year of 2025.

Fundraising efforts

As of 31 March 2022, the Foundation has received pledges and donations amounting to 42.5 million CHF, of which 37.5 million are destined for the renovation project and 5 million have been pledged by the Vatican to cover the temporary housing costs.

In the statement, the Foundation expressed its gratitude to all donors for their generosity, and said it hopes to raise the remaining 7.5 million CHF within the next few months.

04 May 2022, 12:30