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Binance has announced that its NFT marketplace will offer tokenized artworks for sale, including some by Leonardo da Vinci and Van Gogh.

It all stems from a collaboration between Binance NFT and the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia, to create and offer for sale tokenized art using works from the museum’s extensive collection. 

As a result, limited edition NFTs of digital copies of masterpieces such as Leonardo da Vinci’s Madonna Litta, Giorgione’s Judith, Vincent van Gogh’s Lilac Bush, Wassily Kandinsky’s Composition VI and Claude Monet’s Corner of the Garden at Montgeron will debut on the market in August 2021. 

In autumn, the NFTs will be presented during a special NFT art exhibition hosted by the museum. 

Each digital copy will be personally signed by Mikhail Piotrovsky, the museum’s director, who will ensure its authenticity and limited edition. 

Each tokenized artwork will have two identical copies of the NFT, one of which will remain in the Hermitage, and another that will be auctioned on the Binance NFT marketplace. 

The proceeds will be collected by the museum.

The aim of this initiative is to provide a new level of accessibility to the museum’s collections, and to underline its democratic nature, as well as the importance of digitization as a new innovation in the world of art collecting.

Given Russian lawmakers’ scepticism towards cryptocurrencies, the museum’s legal department had to develop a precise model for the creation and sale of NFTs, together with legal consultancy LFCS, so that it would be fully compliant with Russia’s strict legislation on the subject, setting an important precedent that will allow for other similar initiatives in the country in the future.

Piotrovsky stated: 

“New technologies, in particular blockchain, have opened a new chapter in the development of the art market, led by the ownership and the guarantee of this ownership. This is an important stage in the development of the relationship between person and money, person and thing. NFT — this way creates democracy, makes luxury more accessible, but at the same time exceptional and exclusive. We will expand other opportunities, in particular digital ones, which will introduce the collections and the palace. We will build new experiments based on new technologies”.

Head of Binance NFT, Helen Hai, added: 

“Recognition of blockchain technology and NFTs by one of the largest museums in the world is another step towards global digitalization. We highly appreciate the opportunity to cooperate with The State Hermitage; together we are making history. The experience that the Hermitage shows to the entire art market is invaluable, it opens up a lot of new opportunities for development. I am sure that soon we will see even more projects that will positively affect the development of a unique union of blockchain and art”.

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