Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa Embraces Digital Art and NFTs with the Launch of Artentik
· From baroque art to graffiti art, items from 500-year unparalleled collection of art, relics, reliquaries, sculptures and modern artforms to be tokenised
· Proceeds to support SCML’s extensive social enterprise work
Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa (‘SCML’), Portugal’s 500-year-old social enterprise organisation and keeper of the Museum and Church of São Roque in Lisbon that houses one of the most important religious collections in Catholic Europe, announced today its entry into the digital world of NFTs or non-fungible tokens with the launch of Artentik, its brand and marketplace for NFTs.
In much the same way as William Caxton’s printing press opened the door to a broader appreciation of books in the 15th century, so NFTs have created a way for museums and art galleries to share their beautiful and priceless artworks and artefacts with a global audience.
Artentik will be SCML’s curated platform to share digital twins of its treasures and encourage living artists to also sell their works as NFTs. This will enable SCML to monetize and promote its unique cultural heritage to the world while continuing its extensive 500-year support to social causes.
The first NFT drop will take place in December and is drawn from SCML’s sacred art collection, one of the finest in the world.
In the first drop, Artentik will present a set of 13 assets in three art categories — Painting, Relics and Artefacts — about St. Francis Xavier, Christmas and the Nativity. They are unique pieces of an immeasurable richness and symbolism.
Future drops will be drawn from SCML’s expansive collection of art, relics, reliquaries, sculptures, music and new artists.
“In Lisbon, SCML enjoys a warm relationship with residents and visitors to the museum and church and we see a way of extending that relationship globally, and to new generations, through NFTs,” says Edmundo Martinho, President of SCML.
“We have 500 years’ worth of priceless treasures from baroque art to graffiti art that we are keen to share with lovers of art, antiquities and religious history. By creating our own digital window, Artentik, people can view our unique cultural assets, own a digital replica of them through NFTs, and know that the proceeds will be used for social enterprise activities. This is a cultural democratisation of museums, and we are delighted to embrace it,” he added.
Artentik, www.artentik.com, is built on Polygon Layer 2 Ethereum blockchain offering faster transaction speeds, Proof of Stake leading to minimum environmental impact, and reliability. Payment for NFTs will only be accepted in cryptocurrency. Artentik is a joint venture with Boloro Global Limited, a New York City based technology company.
SCML is a not-for-profit organisation overseen by the Portuguese Minister in charge of Social Security. Since its founding in 1498, SCML has focused on social enterprise works, and since 1783 it has held the right to operate lotteries to fund health and social initiatives. These now include various national lotteries, the Euromillions lottery and online gaming. Revenues earned from this activity are put back into society through social enterprise programmes.
Since the start of the 21st century, SCML has focused on expanding its social enterprise work to a broader segment of the population. SCML operates hospitals, invests heavily into scientific and medical research in neuroscience, funds education and training programmes, aggregates social entrepreneurship activities, runs a free paediatric dentistry service, works with other bodies to focus on the care of the 65+ population, and during the COVID-19 pandemic helped the elderly in social isolation as well as setting up a free online psychological support platform.
Over the centuries SCML has accumulated a vast artistic and cultural collection, including the Museum and Church of São Roque.