A painting virtually cut and sold to various investors, digital reproductions… Experimenters compete for ideas to introduce “non-fungible tokens” into the art world.
Some investors and researchers are trying to introduce NFTs to the world of art galleries and museums. As a reminder, these non-replaceable tokens are digital tokens based on:
same technology as cryptocurrencies
Virtually cut a painting
in small squares, each linked to an NFT: that’s what Artessere, a company founded by Anaida Schneider, a former banker from Liechtenstein offers. Each NFT, a type of electronic property certificate, is sold for 100 to 200 euros, which the latter says allows
“Not everyone has $100,000, or a million, to invest. Hence this idea of creating some sort of mutual fund.”
invest in a very real work,
using blockchain technology, she told AFP.
“Blockchains”, or chains of blocks, are like huge digital ledgers
shared between a large number of users,
without central authority and considered non-falsifiable. They were made famous by cryptocurrencies, which are based on this technology.
“We know what we’re doing”
Artessere started last year and offers works by representatives of non-conformist Soviet art, such as Oleg Tselkov (1934 – 2021) and Shimon Okshteyn (1951-2020). According to Anaida Schneider, Artessere plans to keep the paintings
maximum ten years
before selling them on the market. The added value is then
shared between owners
of the NFTs of the tables.
But what happens if the work loses its value or is destroyed? “We are insured,” says Schneider. As for the potential loss of value, “we believe this will not happen.
We are experts.
We know what we’re doing,” she says.
The former banker denies that her purpose is merely speculative and assures that her project
fully respects the law on the “blockchain”,
adopted by Liechtenstein in 2019. The principality and tax haven was one of the first countries in the world to pass a specific law for
regulate activities based on this technology.
According to a first quarter survey from the Art+Tech Report website of more than 300 collectors,
about 21% of them
started buying NFTs that represent a fraction of a work of art.
The art world’s NFTs represented a cumulative value in 2021
about $2.8 billion,
according to a report by the French company NonFungible.
However, the vagueness that still surrounds the rights attached to an NFT attached to a work of art prevents public museums from exploiting the artery. In Italy, where the artistic heritage is huge, the Ministry of Culture has stated that it is suspending its plans to create NFTs linked to works of art,
lack of legal certainty.
One company, Cinello, has
signed contracts with Italian museums
sell digital reproductions of their art treasures. But the corresponding NFT is not
only one option
offered to the buyer, underlines Cinello, who is eager to stand out from the excitement surrounding “non-fungible tokens”.
Cinello sells a high-resolution digital reproduction of the work contained in an electronic box given to the buyer. This box is
connected to a screen with the dimensions of the work,
surrounded by a handmade frame that reproduces the original frame.
The digital reproduction is protected by a code system, and
comes with a certificate of authenticity
which, if necessary and if the buyer so requests, can be supplemented with an NFT.
Cinello says it already has
digitized 200 works,
including those of illustrious masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, and claims his reproductions have already brought in revenues of 296,000 euros to Italian partner museums.
Overall, Cinello founder, computer engineer Francesco Losi says,
is still skeptical
on the potential of NFTs in the arts. “I’m not saying NFTs will disappear,” he told AFP, but many are “misused.”