A Czech royal family that traces its heritage to the 14th century is dabbling in non-fungible tokens (NFT).The House of Lobkowicz is conducting an NFT drop next month with a goal of “preserving cultural heritage.”It’s the latest twist in a blockchain phenomenon that has seen everyone from rapper Lil Yachty to fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana join in.The non-profit House of Lobkowicz has retained and preserved historic paintings by Pieter Bruegel, Canaletto and Diego Velázquez, as well as hand-annotated musical manuscripts by Wolfgang Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven. Some of the works and historic pieces will be featured in the upcoming NFT launch.The blon27-year-old Czech Prince William Rudolf Lobkowicz told CoinDesk that during the pandemic he developed digital content and virtual tours that allowed fans to view his family’s cultural heritage from their homes. It was during this time that he became increasingly interested in NFTs.“We lost 95% of our revenue sources which came from cultural tourism,” Lobkowicz said. “We started with doing a whole bunch of digital activities that included virtual tours such as yoga and historic spaces as a way to get people’s minds off the pandemic. We did something helpful.”The tech-savvy prince said by holding online tours, the House of Lobkowicz received more virtual visitors in 2020 than it had physical visitors during its busiest year.Lobkowicz said he will be holding a “Non-Fungible Castle” conference and a weeklong public NFT exhibition hosted at the Lobkowicz Palace in Prague between Oct. 11-16.The Lobkowicz NFTs will feature historic pieces that tell stories digitally, and include a painting with a hidden story and a musical piece unheard for 250 years – composed by Anna Maria Wilhelmina Althann, wife of Philipp Hyacinth, fourth Prince Lobkowicz.Another NFT will feature a painting by Paolo Veronese revealing a hidden detail discovered through X-ray imagery. There will also be an animation of 16th-century sgraffito, a decorative form, from the façade of Nelahozeves Castle, decaying and restoring over time.Lobkowicz said his family spent over 600 years collecting and supporting the arts and stressed this “new technology” is not just about displaying and buying digital art but an experiment to see if “NFTs and their underlying technology will retain value for centuries.” That’s very much an open question in the digital age.Lobkowicz said digital art has many advantages over physical art. For example, it can travel around the world in an instant, unlike the family collections which can’t be sold or leave the country without permission from a central governmental authority.“NFTs can potentially offer cultural institutions a new patronage model,” Lobkowicz said, adding:“By investing in an NFT, a patron receives ownership of a unique digital asset, while also directly supporting conservation efforts or other important cultural initiatives.”
Original Source: coindesk Old Meets New as Czech Royal Family Drops High-Art NFTs