in an effort to raise funds, florence’s uffizi gallery looks to the crypto dimension and turns one of its michelangelo paintings into an NFT. first painted around 1505, the work of art, entitled ‘doni tondo,’ depicts the holy family in vivid color and is enclosed within an ornate, circular frame. the work marks the first that the uffizi gallery intends to digitize and sell, an undertaking that is beginning strong — the michelangelo, now a non fungible token, has just sold for €140,000, or $170,000 USD. the effort marks a partnership with cinello, with which the earnings will be split. the italian company has developed a method of transforming art into digital artworks, which it calls DAWS, in their original dimensions.

uffizi gallery michelangelo NFT
michelangelo’s doni tondo (1505-06) | courtesy of the uffizi gallery



the uffizi gallery authenticates its michelangelo NFT with a certificate signed by the museum’s director, eike schmidt. as a certified non-fungible token, or cinello-made digital artwork (DAW), the work is unique and theft-proof. the art newspaper notes that the number of annual visitors to the uffizi gallery fell from 4.4 million in 2019 to 1.2 million in 2020. the pandemic has seen creative solutions from all industries, and the NFT has offered the art market a new opportunity to determine its own recovery. director eike schmidt explains the goal of its NFT sales to corriere della sera. ‘in the medium term it will be able to contribute to the finances of a museum, comparable to the proceeds of the restaurant business. it is not a change of direction in terms of revenue, it is an additional revenue. but creating such a market is not a quick thing.’



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when a michelangelo becomes an NFT, the uffizi gallery sells for $170,000
cinello founder and ceo franco losi (left) and uffizi director eike schmidt