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Major Russian Art Gallery Tretyakov Launches Blockchain-Based Art Patronage Project

The prestigious State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia, is launching a blockchain-based art patronage scheme, Russian news agency TASS reports Nov. 15.

The project, dubbed “My Tretyakov,” allows individuals or enterprises to make a private donation to contribute to the digitization of an item from the gallery’s collection, thereby become the artwork’s patron.

The system, developed with business innovation collective RDI Digital, uses blockchain technology to assign and manage the patronage structure. According to a press statement from the gallery:

“The donation amount is still under discussion. The system randomly selects which storage unit (electronic copy of an object of art) will be considered digitized using this cartridge, and links the name to the object. The connection of the name or company name to the digitized exhibit is fixed using blockchain technology[.]”

A presentation of the My Tretyakov initiative will reportedly be held today at the Business venue of the VII Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum, and is being pitched as “a new form of public involvement in art.”

As previously reported, the world’s ostensibly “first” cryptocurrency art auction as held at U.K. fine art gallery Dadiani Syndicate this June, involving the sale of fractional ownership of Andy Warhol’s 14 Small Electric Chairs – worth $5.6 million.

The auction made use of a blockchain platform developed by U.K. and Singapore-based startup Maecenas, which specializes in creating tamper-proof digital certificates linked to works of art on blockchain, which are then tradable on an exchange.

Blockchain has also been used in the art world to verify the provenance, copyright, ownership, valuation and authenticity of works.

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