Digital art

Digital declaration of love, based on Klimt’s art, being sold for $20m

Digital declaration of love, based on Klimt's art, being sold for $20m
Written by Publishing Team

02:10

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, one of the most famous paintings of love, The Kiss by Gustav Klimt, will be sold as a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) – a digital item with certificate of ownership.

More precisely, Vienna’s Belvedere Museum is putting a limited number of digital cut-outs of the Art Nouveau original on the market.

“Every owner can dedicate and show his love to someone with this NFT,” Belvedere CFO Wolfgang Bergmann told CGTN. “We do not only make a copy of the original but we divide it into 10,000 pieces and each piece is an image for itself.”

The NFTs can be purchased up until February 14 at an estimated $2,115 each. It’s an effort to reach unconventional art collectors as well as people who are not normally museum-goers.

It also raises money. If by Valentine’s Day all digital parts of the painting are sold, the Belvedere earns more than $20 million. This equates to about two-thirds of the museum’s annual turnover before the pandemic.

According to cryptoeconomics expert Alfred Taudes, the global NFT hype is already shaking up the art business. “If the trend continues, it will disrupt the traditional art market – of course, not replace it, but complement it,” he said.

Taudes, who is a professor at Vienna’s University of Economics and Business, highlights the rapid growth of NFT sales. While its market volume amounted to $100 million for the entire year of 2020, it now stands at $4 billion per month.

But digital art can be vulnerable to fraud, he adds: “One problem of these open NFT marketplaces is that you don’t have an identity and proof of authenticity, because basically everyone can copy a digital file and claim that he is the author. “

Closed NFT marketplaces usually provide better protection against scams while still offering an opportunity for artists or museums to sell their digital work directly.

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