MUSEUM EMBRACES BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY: KLIMT PAINTING OFFERED AS NFT
The NFT offers a wide range of possibilities and enables the art world to develop into digital art. The famous 100-year-old painting by the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, The Kiss, is an example of this. The Belvedere Museum in Vienna, which has kept the painting since 1908, has decided to turn it into NFTs.
For several years, art galleries and museums have been affected by the irruption of digital behaviours and the NFT could well mark a new era for them. It is true that the closure of cultural venues, following the Covid-19 pandemic, has accelerated the shift to a digitalized relationship with the public by offering a complementary service.
Is the NFT of real interest to museums in the long term?
NFT has a significant financial interest, as art galleries charge buyers and sellers large fees, and the lack of a history of sale prices and the anonymity of sellers make it difficult to make a realistic estimate of a price. Blockchain technology can solve these problems. It makes it possible to know the provenance and verify the authenticity of a work. This process also allows true traceability of transactions. In fact, the NFT brings transparency and guarantees to artistic transactions.
For museums, the NFT can be a new business model to attract unusual patrons. By analogy, the Louvre could choose to sell the famous Mona Lisa as an NFT. Its owner would not have the painting by Leonardo da Vinci physically, but could wear it in the metaverse for example. The Louvre could then use the money from the sale to finance new acquisitions.
Furthermore, the NFT produces another phenomenon. Once a work has been acquired by a museum, it can no longer be sold : this is the alienation of public collections. NFTs circumvent this principle by allowing the work to be digitized. This is a new potential that can be exploited, the full extent of which we have not yet realized.
However, it is necessary to warn against the phenomenon of digital deaccession. Selling the NFT of a work of art owned by a museum means that the museum loses the only "authentic" digital copy. It is therefore important to keep an authentic digital copy for the museum. So NFTs also make us think about our relationship to authenticity.
NFTs are not only changing the world of the art market but also the way of thinking about the act of creation.