10 April 2017, The Tablet

Blood donors to be rewarded with reduced price entry into the Vatican Museums

'Without blood there is no life, but without art life would be more empty and sad,' says Director of the Vatican Museums.

People who give blood at Rome's Gemelli University Hospital will be given reduced price tickets to the Vatican museums, as part of a joint initiative between the central Rome hospital and the Vatican aimed at encouraging blood donations.

The initiative, entitled 'Give blood and follow your artistic inclination', will enable blood donors to enter the museums for just four euros and skip the queue. A full price ticket to the museums costs 25 euros. 

"Blood, like art, has to do directly with each of our lives. Without blood there is no life, but without art life would be more empty and sad," said Barbara Jatta, Director of the Vatican Museums.

A vatican press release calls the initiative "a gesture of solidarity" and says it will "contribute to promoting the importance and value of voluntary blood donation".

Gemelli University Hospital distributes over 17,000 units of blood to patients every year, a need which current stocks are unable to cover.

The Director General of Gemelli Hospital, Enrico Zampedri, said: "For those in the condition to do so, donating one's own blood for the life of another person is a great gesture of charity."

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