A 600-year old Czech family is trying to maintain its artwork collection and an ancestral castle by dabbling in NFTs.
The Lobkowicz family is one of the noble families of the Kingdom of Bohemia, which is now the modern-day Czech Republic and Austria. The family boasts a history of nearly 700 years, collecting numerous works of art along the way.
In between, the family lost everything when Nazis and communists came to power but were able to reclaim the ancestral property after the fall of communism.
The family has several valuable artworks including hand-annotated musical manuscripts by Wolfgang Mozart and Beethoven. They have also preserved historic paintings by Pieter Bruegel, Canaletto, and Diego Velázquez.
Lobkowicz’s family was inspired to enter the NFT business by his eldest son, William, who is the current heir and manager of most of the Lobcowitz ancestral property. William started investing in cryptocurrencies while attending Harvard University and has invested in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Cardano.
The 27-year-old prince said:
“We don’t get any public funding. My father sometimes says we are the richest poor people in the world. We are going to showcase some pieces that are in desperate need of restoration.”
According to William, the family does not receive public funding and since the artworks and properties are considered national treasures, they cannot be sold without government approval.
“We lost 95% of our revenue sources which came from cultural tourism. We started with doing a whole bunch of digital activities that included virtual tours such as yoga and historic spaces as a way to get people’s minds off the pandemic. We did something helpful.”
Now, the family is hoping to cash in on the latest trend and hold a “Non-Fungible Castle” conference along with an NFT exhibition from October 11-16 in Prague, Czech Republic.
For the exhibition, they have invited a large number of NFT artists and investors, including well-known cryptocurrency journalist Laura Shin and officials of the Salvador Dali Foundation, to talk about the crossroads of traditional art and the new digital economy.
Admission to the Lokbowitz castle will be free and the NFTs sale will contribute to the restoration of many works of art and the family castle.
The NFT collection will feature artworks including artwork with hidden history and a song that has been unheard of for 250 years.