Czech Prince William Rudolf Lobkowicz is reportedly using NFTs, cryptocurrency, and the metaverseto regain ownership of his noble family’s stolen past.
His family had inherited artifacts and property stolen twice by two different authoritarian regimes — once by the Nazis during World War II and again in the early 1990s by the Communist Party, per CNBC.
According to CNBC, the family inherited “three castles, one palace, 20,000 moveable artifacts, a library of approximately 65,000 rare books, 5,000 musical artifacts and compositions — including an early copy of Beethoven’s 5th symphony — and 30,000 boxes and folios, some of which have never been opened.”
Lobkowicz’s father, William Sr., also traveled around all of the former Czechoslovakia to reclaim his family inheritance.
“Our objects were taken to over 100 locations, so we crisscrossed Czechoslovakia to recover tens of thousands of movable objects,” Lobkowicz’s father told CNBC. “We probably covered hundreds of thousands of miles.”
But now Lobkowicz is experimenting with different strategies to incorporate blockchain technology to preserve his family heritage and restore artifacts they inherited, CNBC reported.
According to CNBC, the noble family mints images of their inherited paintings that need restorations as an NFT and sets the price of the token accordingly to the cost of restoration.
“It’s not just about selling NFTs to support cultural monuments, but it’s also looking at how do we preserve a record of our history?” the prince told CNBC. “Blockchain technology provides an immutable record of our cultural heritage, which you can preserve on chain, and that’s something that’s never been done before.”
At the end of the restoration, the person who buys the NFT will receive a second digital asset of the restored painting, per CNBC.
According to the outlet, the family has financed more than 50 art restoration projects and raised $300,000 through NFT sales.
The outlet reported that beyond the young princes’ proof of patronage business model, Lobkowicz plans to experiment with other blockchain technology, particularly in an upcoming in an installment of a Non–Fungible Castle running November 4 – 5 in Prague, according to CNBC.
The family has also used blockchain technology to restore more than just paintings.
Lobkowicz has also worked with Somnium, a virtual reality metaverse built on the Ethereum blockchain, to upload and sell a three-month restoration of the Chinese Belvedere room in one of their palaces in Prague on the metaverse to a famous crypto influencer known as Oxb1 for $79,000.
“What I’m doing right now, I don’t think is any different from any of my predecessors. Each prince did something completely different based upon the times they lived in,” he told CNBC.