Czech National Theatre issues its first NFT

'The digital age requires a new understanding of art and new approaches to its presentation,' NT representatives say. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 20.10.2022 10:57:00 (updated on 20.10.2022) Reading time: 1 minute

A bastion of Czech heritage and an epicenter of the national art scene, the National Theater (Národní Divadlo) is stepping into a bold new role: that of modern digital philanthropist.

The theatre issued yesterday its first NFT (non-fungible token). This is a landmark moment for the country's oldest cultural institution, which entered the digital world with the use of the blockchain network.

The NFT, now being auctioned online in the Somnium Space metaverse, is a stunning photograph of the first soloist of the Ballet National Theater of Nikola Márová in the role of Odetta from "Swan Lake."

The photograph captures a pivotal moment from the second act of the classical ballet work, Odette's first meeting with Prince Siegfried.

The photo is the work of photographer Pavel Hejný. 

Art, dance and fragility

The online auction, which launched Oct. 19 at 5 p.m., lasts for five days and takes place under the auspices of the Patrons' Club of the National Theatre.

The auction's aim is to support the art ensemble of the National Theatre Ballet. The owner of the NFT will help with the creation of a new rehabilitation and physiotherapy center that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of the musculoskeletal system.

"The working tool of the dancers is their body, and it is fragile," the theatre writes in a press release. "At the same time, increasing demands for movement expression and constant exceeding physical limits also requires special consideration in the field of rehabilitation and physiotherapy."

NFTs in the Czech Republic

NFT auctions see buyers acquire ownership rights not to physical objects of art but to their digital records. 

Czechia recently made international headlines in the NFT space when its noble Lobkowicz family garnered attention for using NFTs to find new ways of financing the family's 700-year-old art collections, which were looted by Nazis and communists.

The family has financed more than 50 art restoration projects and raised USD 300,000 through NFT sales, according to Business Insider.

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