NFT project brings looted African art back to its native land in a digital form
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NFT enthusiasts from Nigeria created a project called Looty to remind people of African history. Looty aims to bring physical, historical objects stolen by colonizers back to Africa as digital restitutions. To make this happen, the team re-created six 3D images of the artifacts and is selling them as NFTs.
“Our ‘Looters’ go to the museums (physically) and take back the artworks (digitally), giving you the opportunity to own this digital asset and contribute to the reparations,” the project’s description reads.
There are thousands of artworks and cultural objects from Africa that Europeans looted during colonial times. However, the African treasures are still displayed behind glass in American and European cultural institutions.
Looty advertises itself as the “world’s first digital repatriation of art to the Metaverse.” The project challenges organizations to return looted cultural artifacts to where they belong—on the African continent.
“Imagine a world where these items were never looted. We’re just trying to reimagine that world and bring that world into the digital form,” the founder of Looty, Chidi Nwaubani, told Reuters.
The NFT collection of six 3D artifacts was released on May 13 on the Rarible marketplace. Twenty percent of the proceeds from the sales will fund young African creatives. In addition, the team plans to release NFT collections featuring the Rosetta Stone, Looty Dog, and Dogon-Soninke Figure.
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