British Museum to sell its first NFTs of Hokusai works

By Raffaele Redi

BM has partnered with French start-up LaCollection.io to sell NFTs of 200 Hokusai works

Under The Wave Off Kanagawa by Hokusai                                 
Under The Wave Off Kanagawa by Hokusai - Photo: LaCollection.io
                                

The British Museum (BM) has partnered with French start-up LaCollection.io to sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of 200 works by Katsushika Hokusai, a celebrated Japanese artist of the 19th Century .

The launch coincides with the opening of the exhibition Hokusai: The Great Picture Book Of Everything, which will display 103 previously unseen drawings by Hokusai for the first time.

Over 200 Hokusai NFT artworks will be available for purchase online. In the case that an NFT is resold on the secondary market, 10% goes to the museum and 3% to LaCollection, which was co-founded by the entrepreneur Jean-Sébastien Beaucamps.

Adapting to new markets

"The partnership with LaCollection is the first time the British Museum has entered the NFT market. This is a new and rapidly evolving space, so the initial release of 200 Hokusai works will inform future plans," a Museum spokesperson told Currency.com.

“It is so important that as a museum we continually adapt to new markets and find new ways of reaching people that we may not reach through traditional channels,” added British Museum licensing manager Craig Bendle.

"We were particularly drawn to LaCollection’s vision of forging a community-centred platform, bringing together similar museums and galleries to share their stories and histories in fun and interesting ways," continued Bendle. "In addition, the simplicity of LaCollection’s user experience was a big draw."

The NFT sale

The NFTs will correspond to digital images of the Hokusais produced by the Museum. They fall into different categories, from ‘unique’ (a single image of one of the most famous works), through ‘ultra-rare’ (two images), ‘limited’ (1,000) and ‘common’ (10,000). Prices start at about $500 for the common NFTs.

Half are digital images of works in the exhibition, including the famed The Great Wave, while another 100 are from the museum’s wider collection, including drawings from the recently rediscovered book which is the subject of the exhibition.

The NFTs will be sold on the LaCollection.io site, some at a fixed price, with the different editions being gradually fed onto the market. Payment can be in fiat currency or cryptocurrency, with owner able to resell the pieces either on the LaCollection.io platform or on another platform such as openseas.io.

Further reading: James Bond film ‘No Time to Die’ to include release of NFTs

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