The British Museum, a renowned cultural institution, is delving into the world of blockchain technology and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) through a partnership with the Ethereum-based metaverse game, The Sandbox. In collaboration with French startup LaCollection, the museum aims to create an array of NFT digital collectibles, showcasing the vast expanse of its collections and offering new immersive experiences to players.
The concept behind this collaboration is to bring the treasures of The British Museum into the digital realm, making them accessible to a global audience within The Sandbox’s virtual universe. This amalgamation of history and technology of crypto products provides an exciting opportunity for The Sandbox players to explore the remarkable richness of human history, art, and culture.
The Sandbox has already established its presence as a metaverse game, hosting diverse virtual spaces inhabited by various modern cultural icons like Snoop Dogg, McDonald’s, Adidas, and Gucci. Now, The British Museum will add its immersive space to this ever-expanding digital landscape, where users can engage with historical artifacts like never before.
Sebastien Borget, the COO and co-founder of The Sandbox, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, stating that it offers players, regardless of their location, an invaluable chance to learn and appreciate the extensive collection of The British Museum.
The British Museum has proven itself to be a forward-thinking institution, even though it has a history dating back to 1753 when it became the world’s first national public museum. Embracing innovation, it had previously collaborated with LaCollection on three NFT collections, marking its initial foray into the world of blockchain art.
The first collaboration began in September 2021 with the auction of 200 digital postcards featuring works by the renowned Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai. Among these postcards was a rendering of his iconic woodblock print “Under the Wave, Off Kanagawa,” popularly known as “The Great Wave,” created in 1831.
Subsequently, in spring 2022, the museum auctioned 20 tokenized versions of British artist Joseph Mallord William Turner’s masterpieces, including the dramatic watercolor painting “A Storm (Shipwreck)” from 1823. This initiative provided an opportunity for the wider appreciation of works from the collection bequeathed to the museum by Robert Wylie Lloyd, a former chairman of Christie’s, under the condition that they could only be shown for a limited time each year or upon special request.
British Museum NFT
The latest NFT sale featured 20 pen and chalk drawings from The British Museum’s collection by Venetian-born draftsman Giambattista Piranesi. With each NFT representing a unique piece of art, collectors and enthusiasts had the chance to own digital renditions of these historical drawings.
Interestingly, The British Museum is not the only esteemed institution exploring the intersection of crypto payment technology and art. In Paris, the Pompidou Center debuted its Web3 showcase titled “Policies of the Immaterial: From Certificate to Blockchain” in January. This exhibition examines the relationship between blockchain and art and features notable NFT artwork like CryptoPunk #110, donated to the museum by Yuga Labs, the parent company of CryptoPunks. The exhibit also incorporates various examples of crypto, generative, and pixel art.
Back in The Sandbox, the creation of an in-game museum dedicated to the NFT profile picture project “World of Women” highlights the platform’s commitment to fostering artistic endeavors. This initiative is just one part of The Sandbox’s ambitious $25 million project, the WoW Foundation, which aims to support and promote digital artists within the metaverse.
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