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NFT of Nelson Mandela’s Arrest Warrant Raises $130,000


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A South African museum, Liliesleaf Museum Heritage Site, recently raised $130,000 via the auction of a non-fungible token (NFT) created from an arrest warrant issued against Nelson Mandela in 1962.

Proceeds From NFT Sale to Fund Museum Activities

A non-fungible token (NFT) minted from the former South African President Nelson Mandela’s warrant of arrest was recently auctioned for $130,000 (1.9 million rands), a report has said. The proceeds are expected to help bankroll Liliesleaf Museum Heritage Site, an organization that documents South Africa’s fight for freedom and democracy.

According to a Bloomberg report, Liliesleaf Museum Heritage Site had initially received the original document in 2004 as a donation. The warrant itself was issued in 1962 by South Africa’s then minority rulers after they accused Mandela of conspiring to overthrow the government.

After holding the document for nearly 18 years, Liliesleaf Museum Heritage Site has again raised funds using an NFT which depicts an object once associated with South Africa’s freedom fighters. Before the latest auction, the heritage site had previously received about $50,000 after it auctioned an NFT of a pen gun that was owned by another South African freedom fighter, Oliver Tambo. In both instances, Momint — a South African NFT marketplace — handled the auctions.

The Pivot to NFTs

Commenting on the latest NFT auction, the CEO of Momint, Ahren Posthumus, is quoted in the report explaining why museums are pivoting to NFTs. He said:

Museum sites stay afloat. They have been badly affected by the lack of tourism due to Covid. So this is a way to revitalize their flow and keep history alive.

In addition to museums, conservancies like the Black Rock Rhino have used proceeds from NFTs to pay for some of the sanctuary’s day-to-day expenses. The pivot to NFTs by charitable organizations comes after one study suggested that more South Africans are buying or are interested in buying NFTs.

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