La Monnaie de Paris, an historic institution in France, will host an exhibition showcasing NFTs by British digital artist Robert Alice. Revealed at NFC Lisbon, the event, planned in collaboration with the NFT platform La Collection, opens on June 29.
- La Monnaie de Paris, the oldest active French institution, will host an NFT exhibition featuring works by British digital artist Robert Alice.
- Alice’s art, influenced by blockchain and cryptocurrency, aims to normalize the perception of these technologies and underscore their place in monetary history.
- La Monnaie de Paris is also exploring digital initiatives, including creating its own NFTs, to bring its mission full circle.
NFTs in an historical institution
La Monnaie de Paris, established on June 25, 864, holds the distinction of being the oldest active French institution. It not only produces Euro coins for France but also serves as a Museum of Money and Economics.
Dominique Anterion, the leader of historical collections at La Monnaie, says, “We’ve compiled a comprehensive collection of coins, medals, and economic documents over the centuries.” This upcoming exhibition, made possible by La Collection, aims to enhance this rich heritage.
Alice’s artwork, deeply influenced by blockchain, cryptocurrency, and the monetary system, pairs harmoniously with La Monnaie’s historical collection.
The exhibition is set to immerse visitors in a unique fusion of physical and digital artwork. It skillfully weaves the narrative of cryptocurrency and blockchain into the institution’s centuries-old history. “People often view money as a topic for specialists, an ironic perspective considering its ubiquity; everyone uses money,” says Anterion.
Consequently, this exhibition presents a new way to engage in the conversation about the concept of money, facilitated through creativity.
Robert Alice, a pioneer NFT artist
London-based artist Alice is known for selling the first NFT at a major auction house, in October 2020. He intends to foster the democratization of blockchain technology through this exhibition. “Displaying crypto in a 1000-year-old national institution will help normalize the perception of crypto and NFTs,” Alice declares. He strongly supports decentralization, highlighting that centralization often leads to financial crises.
Alice’s preoccupation with crises, particularly monetary ones, and the less glamorous aspects of currency, set the tone for the exhibition. Anterion remembers that in their initial meeting, Alice showed interest not in the most valuable or beautiful items. Instead, his attention went to those that narrate a story of struggle and adaptation.
Amid the rising prominence of NFT art and new technologies, La Monnaie de Paris is pursuing various digital initiatives. As a matter of fact, one of them could be the creation of its own NFTs. “Creating digital tokens for La Monnaie, a mint that has been producing physical tokens for centuries, would bring our mission full circle,” says Anterion.
By engaging in a dialogue with Alice’s artworks through its own pieces, La Monnaie de Paris could contribute significantly to establishing cryptocurrencies as a deserving component in the annals of economic history.
A few months following the acquisition of NFTs – including a CryptoPunk – by Centre Pompidou, a major museum institution, France is emerging as more welcoming than ever to the NFT ecosystem.
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