The Ukrainian government will be using the proceeds of sales from an online nonfungible token, or NFT, museum to restore artwork in the real world.
According to a Friday announcement and information shared with Cointelegraph, Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture and Information Policy said the government's Meta History Museum of War platform, aimed at preserving the timeline of major events in Russia’s war with Ukraine, raised 803.28 Ether (ETH) — roughly $1.3 million at the time — through NFT sales. The ministry said proceeds from the sales will go toward “the restoration of Ukrainian cultural institutions,” many of which have been damaged or destroyed by missile attacks from Russia.
"During the six months of the war in Ukraine, the Russians destroyed hundreds of our museums, theaters and cultural institutions,” said Oleksandr Tkachenko, Ukraine’s Minister of Culture and Information Policy. “Ukrainian culture and national heritage have been damaged by almost 6 billion euros, and judging by the actions and intentions of the Russian Federation, this figure will only increase.”
Alexander Borniakov, deputy minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine for Information Technology Development, added:
“NFT[s] will not stop Russian missiles, but blockchain technology will contribute to the economic recovery and development of Ukraine as an innovation-friendly country.”
The Ukrainian government launched the Meta History project in March, one month after the first missiles struck Ukrainian targets in the ongoing conflict. While the $1.3 million will go toward Aid For Ukraine — a platform launched by the government that accepts crypto donations “to support people in their fight for freedom” — the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy has said the funds will be used for restoration rather than supplies for the nation’s military.
UNESCO, the agency behind many of the world’s heritage sites based on their significance to history, nature and art, reported that as of Monday, 164 cultural sites in Ukraine had been partially damaged or destroyed as a result of the war with Russia. These include 72 religious sites, 12 museums, 32 historic buildings, 24 buildings for cultural activities, 17 monuments and seven libraries.
“These repeated attacks on Ukrainian cultural sites must stop,” said UNESCO director-general Audrey Azoulay in June. “Cultural heritage, in all its forms, should not be targeted under any circumstances.”