The Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg is considering issuing NFTs for works of art from its rich collection and is holding talks with Binance on the matter. The museum’s management expects the tokens to bring extra funding, provided Russian authorities exempt NFTs from current digital assets regulations.
Hermitage Museum in Talks With Binance for Artwork NFTs
The world-renowned State Hermitage Museum in Russia is negotiating with leading cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, on the issuance and sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of artwork. On June 24, Binance launched its NFT marketplace which features various forms of digital artwork and collectibles. The coin trading platform also announced its “100 Creators” program presenting NFT content from local talent around the world.
For the Hermitage to issue its tokens, Russia’s legislation governing the sector may require some clarification. Marina Tsyguleva, head of the museum’s legal department, said that this type of token may be taken out of the scope of the digital assets regulations, as the Central Bank of Russia has proposed, according to her statement. Quoted by the Interfax news agency, Tsyguleva revealed:
We are in the process of discussing our collaboration with Binance.
The Hermitage Museum hopes to use the NFTs to attract additional funding. However, it remains unclear whether the tokens fall under the existing regulations. The law “On digital financial assets,” the main piece of legislation regulating the Russian crypto space right now, went into force on Jan. 1, 2021, but it does not cover all aspects of the crypto sphere.
Russian Digital Assets Legislation Needs Refinement
Crypto experts and even Russian lawmakers agree that the digital assets law’s definitions need to be clarified and refined. It currently allows the issuance and circulation of tokens, also referred to as “digital rights,” as well as security tokens, utility tokens, and stablecoins.
Tsyguleva further explained that the cultural institution can only sell non-exclusive rights to its works of art. This creates certain difficulties when entering the NFT market but does not rule out the possibility completely. The NFTs can be used to raise funds for restoration projects, for example, the museum’s representative added.
The Hermitage Museum plans to hold Russia’s first art exhibition of NFT tokens, according to an announcement released earlier this year. The event will be organized as part of the “Hermitage 20/21” project, RBC reported. The museum said that the use of non-fungible tokens is the most relevant agenda in the field of contemporary art.
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