Despite the smell of sulfur hanging over the world of cryptocurrencies, some investors are trying to introduce NFTs into the world of art galleries and museums. Virtually cutting a painting into small squares, each associated with an NFT: that’s the proposition of Artesare, a company created by former Liechtenstein banker Anaida Schneider.
Each NFT, a type of electronic property certificate, is sold for 100 to 200 euros, which, according to the latter, allows “Democratizing Art”. “Not everyone has $100,000 or a million to invest. Hence the idea of creating a type of mutual fund.” It makes it possible to invest in a very real work based on blockchain technology, he told AFP.
Artsere opened last year and offers works by representatives of non-conformist Soviet art, such as Oleg Teselkov (1934-2021) and Shimon Okstein (1951-2020). According to Anaida Schneider, Artessere plans to keep the paintings for a maximum of ten years before reselling them on the market. The added value will then be shared among the NFT owners of the paintings
But what if the work loses its value, or is destroyed? “We are insured”, Snyder said. For possible loss of value, “We think it won’t happen. We are experts. We know what we’re doing.” she says.
The former banker denied that his intentions were purely speculative and that his project was entirely based on the technology respecting the blockchain law adopted by Liechtenstein in 2019.
According to a survey conducted in the first quarter of 2017 Art+Tech Report Of the more than 300 collectors, about 21% began buying NFTs representing a fraction of an artwork. According to a report by the French company NonFungible, NFTs represented a cumulative value of approximately $2.8 billion in the industrial world in 2021.
However, the ambiguity surrounding the rights attached to NFTs associated with a work of art prevents public museums from exploiting the vein. In Italy, where the artistic heritage is immense, the Ministry of Culture has announced that it is suspending plans to create NFTs linked to works of art due to a lack of legal certainty.
A digital Leonardo da Vinci
The Cinello company has signed contracts with Italian museums to sell digital reproductions of their artistic collections. But the corresponding NFT is only an option offered to the buyer, underlining Cinello’s concern to stand out from the general excitement.
Cinello sells a high-definition digital reproduction of the work, housed in an electronic box provided to the buyer. This case is attached to a screen of the size of the work, surrounded by a handcrafted frame that reproduces the original frame.
Digital reproductions are protected by a code system and provided with a certificate of authenticity which can be supplemented by an NFT, if necessary and at the buyer’s request. Cinello indicates that it has already digitized 200 works, including works by renowned masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, and claims that its reproductions have already provided 296,000 euros in revenue to Italian partner museums.
In general, the founder of Cinello, computer engineer Francesco Losi, is still skeptical about the potential of NFTs in the industry. “I’m not saying NFTs will go away,” But there are many, he told AFP “Wrongly Used”.