The Russian State Hermitage museum in St Petersburg has announced it’s intention to mint Da Vinci and Van Gogh NFT’s, along with other renowned masterpieces.
Cryptocurrency Exchange Binance made the announcement that it would partner with the Hermitage to issue a collection of tokenized masterpieces as Non Fungible Tokens (NFT’s), with the auction of the digital assets in late August 2021.
Each work of art will have 2 copies of the NFT minted, with one being sold via auction on the Binance marketplace, and the other housed permanently at the Hermitage itself, with all proceeds from the sale going to the museum. That one copy is to be held at the Museum has given the project it’s title: “Your token is kept in the Hermitage”, and The NFT’s will be presented at a special art exhibition in late 2021.
The authenticity of the NFT’s is enhanced by the personal signature of the Museums Director, Mikhail Piotrovsky, along with the exact date, time and location of signing. Piotrovsky told The Art Newspaper that this was an experiment in fundraising using emerging technology. “We try everything. Since NFT’s exist, we need to try them… We’re not looking at it as a way of making money. It’s not clear how one can earn from this. Maybe it’s not possible. But it’s interesting for us because it’s a new form of people’s relationship with art.”
The Hermitage Museum, located in the Winter Palace of the Tsars. was founded in 1764 by the Empress Catherine the Great boast an inventory of around 3 Million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world.
NFT — this way creates democracy, makes luxury more accessible, but at the same time exceptional and exclusive. We will expand other opportunities, in particular digital ones, which will introduce the collections and the palace. We will build new experiments based on new technologies”.Mikhail Piotrovsky, General Director of the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.
The list of masterpieces, aside from the Da Vinci and Van Gogh NFT’s include works by Monet, Kandinsky and Giorgione, but the ability of the Museum to run such a sale has not been without problems. Russian legislation relating to cryptocurrencies created a number of barriers for the Hermitage, with the Museum’s legal chief Marina Tsyguleva telling a business forum in July of this year that the institution was actively looking at reconciling Russian crypto regulation and rules around museum collections, and it would appear that having Piotrovsky’s signature timestamped digitally into the NFT, and stored on the blockchain, was key to solving some of these issues.
This announcement could herald a new precedent in the way that art, money and people are brought together, and it’s quite likely that more and more museums will begin to house collections related to blockchain and cryptocurrency, and of course they should as this is an important step in human technological evolution and ingenuity. It was recently announced that Venezuela was to open a Bitcoin Mining Museum.
How to participate in the Da Vinci and Van Gogh NFT auction
Existing Binance users will be able to participate in the auction, using their normal Binance.com credentials, and new users can sign up with the platform in order to take part too (use this link to get a 5% bonus when you sign up and transact on the platform)
“Recognition of blockchain technology and NFTs by one of the largest museums in the world is another step towards global digitalization. We highly appreciate the opportunity to cooperate with The State Hermitage; together we are making history.”Helen Hai, Head of Binance NFT