Per the press release, the digital collectibles will reflect the museum’s vast collections and offer immersive experiences. The museum will also create an interactive space in The Sandbox game world alongside cultural icons like Snoop Dogg, McDonald’s, Adidas and Gucci.
For this project, the British Museum collaborates with the French Web3 art platform LaCollection, which helped its previous NFT ventures.
Sébastien Borget, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox, said the partnership would provide a chance to introduce the British Museum’s collections to a new audience in the metaverse.
“This is a great opportunity for The Sandbox players, regardless of where they are, to learn about and enjoy the amazing collections of human history, art, and culture in the British Museum,” said Borget.
According to a spokesperson, the British Museum aims to explore innovative ways to connect with a broader audience. The institution has not shied away from adopting new technologies, including Web3.
The museum’s partnership with LaCollection began in September 2021. The British Museum launched an auction of 200 digital postcards featuring artworks by Katsushika Hokusai, such as the famous woodblock print “Under the Wave, Off Kanagawa,” also known as “The Great Wave.”
Following the successful auction of Hokusai’s works, the museum held another auction in the spring of 2022. This time, they offered 20 tokenized versions of Joseph Mallord William Turner’s works, including the watercolor painting “A Storm (Shipwreck)” from 1823. These artworks were part of a collection bequeathed to the museum by Robert Wylie Lloyd.
The NFT initiative allowed more people to enjoy Turner’s paintings, overcoming the restrictions imposed by the bequest’s terms, which limited their display and lending.
Recently, the British Museum held a sale featuring NFT artwork that depicted 20 pen and chalk drawings by Giambattista Piranesi, a Venice-born draftsman.
In 2021, NFTs gained significant public attention, leading the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to collaborate with Refik Anadol for a project that used MoMA’s metadata and images to create NFTs. MoMA held a special program called “Evening In: The Art of NFTs” to showcase this new art creation and collection method.
Dubai Culture also hosted its first NFT art exhibition featuring 50 artworks from artists in the United Arab Emirates in 2022. The event partnered with NFT curatorial platform Morrow Collective at Al Safa Art and Design Library. The display includes works by Khalid Al Banna, Alia Al Gaoud, Dalal Ahmed, Marwan Shakarchi and Gigi Gorlova.
In February 2022, the Asia Art Center in Taipei held an NFT exhibition featuring mostly Asian artists. The exhibition showed NFTs depicting Asian culture, with participants from Taiwan, China, South Korea, Japan and other countries.
Earlier this year, Paris’ iconic landmark Centre Pompidou made its Web3 debut via an exhibition called “Policies of the Immaterial: From Certificate to Blockchain,” which runs until January 2024. The exhibition explores the relationship between blockchain and art. It also showcases various art forms, including crypto, generative and pixel art.
Meanwhile, The Sandbox announced its plan to create an in-game museum exclusively for the NFT profile picture project “World of Women” last year. This initiative is part of the platform’s $25 million effort to establish the WoW Foundation. The WoW Foundation aims to empower women in the NFT space and the emerging metaverse through education and mentorship.
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