Russia’s Hermitage Museum Partners with Binance to Sell Rare Art as NFTs

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In Brief
  • The Hermitage Museum is St. Petersburg will auction off NFTs that mimic historic art in its collection.

  • Artists whose art will be featured include Leonardo da Vinci, Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh.

  • The museum had to work with legal advisors to circumvent Russia's strict cryptocurrency laws.

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The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia will issue NFT tokens based on artworks from its famous collection.

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The Hermitage Museum has announced the launch of a new project centered around non-fungible tokens (NFTs.) The museum says it will issue a limited number of NFT tokens that will be digital copies of works of art hanging on its walls. A total of five paintings from different artists will be the first to get the NFT treatment. Leonardo da Vinci’s “Madonna Lite’’, Giorgione’s “Judith”, Vincent van Gogh’s “Lilac Bush”, Composition VI” by Wassily Kandinsky, and “Corner of the Garden at Montgeron” by Claude Monet will be among the first group of artworks to be tokenized by the museum. 

Each of the aforementioned works of art will see two NFT companies minted, one of which will stay with the Hermitage with the other being sold at auction on the Binance NFT exchange. Each of the 10 NFTs will feature the signature of Mikhail Piotrovsky, the museum’s director, with the date and time being markets on each token. This will make each unique with the signing location also being added to the metadata. 

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A Facebook post from the museum states that the main goal of the project is to make the collection more accessible and “emphasize the democracy of the museum.” Additionally, the Hermitage hopes to emphasize the digitization of art as the net stage in the world of collecting. The post goes on to say that “this experiment will allow you to study how this form of art will be perceived in the world.

Non-replaceable tokens ensure that you are the only owner of a particular copy – and give you a feeling of having a unique digital piece created once. To feel that your personal token is directly related to the Hermitage, and the original piece is stored in the world’s greatest museum – this is what emphasizes in the name of the project.”

The quality of art involved in this auction is not the only aspect that makes the Hermitage’s project unique. The addition of strict laws in Russia makes this sale particularly tricky. The museum itself points out that cryptocurrency is almost outright banned in Russia and other similar types of tokens are heavily regulated. 

With that in mind, the Hermitage Legal Service collaborated with a legal consulting company to create a model of the minting and auction of the NFTs that comply 100% with Russian law. “Thus, an important precedent has been created that will allow to integrate the Russian market into the international turnover of NFT,” the museum says. 

The auction will begin sometime in the fall and any Binance member can participate. Proceeds from the sale will go to the museum so, it can carry out long-overdue restoration work on its extensive collection. 

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Matthew De Saro is a journalist and media personality specializing in sports, gambling, and statistics. Before joining BeInCrypto, his work was featured on Fansided, Forbes, and OutKick. With a background in statistical analysis and a love of writing, he takes an outside-the-box approach to reporting news.

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