In a first, the artwork of former South African President Nelson Mandela will soon be sold as NFT, World News

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For the first time, works of art, created by former South African President Nelson Mandela, will soon be sold as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The sale will take place against a backdrop of a booming global digital art market. All six works, which will be on sale, bear the signature of the anti-apartheid hero.

An artwork called “My Robben Island” consists of five vivid watercolors. Mandela painted it after renouncing the presidency in 1999. “The Motivation”, which is a handwritten text, explains the visualization of the island’s harsh prison.

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In ‘The Motivation’, Mandela writes: “It is true that Robben Island was once a place of darkness, but out of that darkness came a wondrous light, a light so powerful that it could not be hidden behind the walls of the prison, held behind the bars of a prison or surrounded by the surrounding sea… The most fantastic dreams can be realized if we are ready to endure the challenges of life.

Makaziwe Mandela, daughter, former president, said the “watercolours”, painted in 2002, represented “the triumph of the human spirit”.

Offering the artworks as NFTs is a way to reach new audiences, she said. “My father wanted above all to create an accessible society. It’s a way to democratize his art,” added Makaziwe.

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Giles Peppiatt, director, modern and contemporary African art, Bonhams, which sells NFTs, said digital art has reached “new audiences that probably don’t go to art galleries and museums. These are people who live a large part of their lives thanks to their phones, the internet and have large sums of money – and they are collectors. They are becoming an increasingly important part of the art market.

Bonhams will offer “My Robben Island” on the Nifty Gateway platform in a six-hour period on March 9 at a fixed price of $3,495 for the edition, or $699 for an individual work.

(With agency contributions)

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