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Cryptocurrency entrepreneur destroyed $10m Frida Kahlo drawing to ‘transition it into the Metaverse’

He said he had a philanthropic vision to use NFTs to create “perpetual donations” to charities.

Mr Mobarak later told Vice News: “People may see it as I destroyed it but I didn’t. This way I am bringing it to the world. I am letting everybody see it. I think it does more good for the world and makes a statement rather than just sitting in someone’s private collection.”

In the art world, questions swirled about whether the picture was genuine, and whether it was worth $10 million.

Mr Mobarak said he had bought it in 2015 from a private collector.

Mary-Anne Martin, one of the world’s major Latin American art dealers, told Vice News she had sold it twice, the last time being in 2013.

She had not heard of Mr Mobarak, adding: “The whole thing is creepy.”

The website selling the NFTs carried a document from an art dealer in Mexico City certifying he believed the drawing was genuine.

Expert seeks analysis

One Kahlo expert said the ashes should be collected, chemically analysed, and compared to her diary.

The drawing was originally created by Kahlo on a page of her diary.

Kahlo, who was one of Mexico’s most famous artists, died in 1954.

A year ago a self-portrait by the artist sold for $34.9 million at Sotheby’s.

The apparent burning came as Damien Hirst is poised to set alight nearly 5,000 of his artworks.

It will be the culmination of an experiment in which Hirst gave buyers the opportunity to choose an original or an NFT, with the one they rejected being destroyed.

NFTs are digital assets bought and sold with cryptocurrency.

Last year, a work by the digital artist Beeple sold at auction for $69.3 million.

In 2021 sales of NFTs soared to $25 billion, but they have plummeted this year.


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