Blockchain Donation Project to Help Russia’s State Gallery Digitize Collection

The Tretyakov Gallery wants to attract private capital by allowing users of a DLT-based app to give money for digitalization of its collection.

The Tretyakov Gallery, one of Russia’s leading cultural institutions, is tapping blockchain in a bid to widen its reach, both inside and outside the country, news agency TASS has reported. The state-owned organization will develop a distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based patronage project, aiming to attract private capital for the digitalization of its collection.

The initiative will work as a blockchain-powered mobile application called My Tretyakov. It will allow individuals or companies to donate money to the gallery. The connoisseurs will become patrons of the artworks and will be able to create their own “private” online collections. My Tretyakov will show the name of the patron every time the piece is represented online.

Located in Moscow, the Tretyakov Gallery was launched in the mid-19th century and currently has more than 190,000 works. According to director Zelfira Tregulova, the project aims “to make Russian art an important part of the daily life of people around the world,” with young generations being of special interest for the campaign. It also makes associations with the gallery’s own patron, Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov, the Russian businessman and philanthropist who donated his private art collection of 2,000 items to the state in 1892.

My Tretyakov is a joint initiative with RDI.Digital, a tech lab that connects Russian cultural projects with European startups. The forthcoming app will implement DLT solutions from Austrian blockchain company Riddle & Code in a bid to guarantee transparency and accountability for the contributions.

“The donation amount is still under discussion. The system randomly selects which work (electronic copy of an object of art) will be considered digitized with the help of a particular patron and links the name to the object,” RDI.Digital said as quoted by TASS.

Blockchain, the technology that underpins virtual assets like Bitcoin (BTC), has widened its usage far beyond cryptocurrency. It has also found application in the art sphere: several institutions, among them HOFA Gallery, have supported payments with digital coins.

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