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The Middle East’s First NFT Art Forum Will Take Place in Saudi Arabia Soon

Mad Dog Jones, Visor, 2021. Photo: Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Leading the conversation on NFTs in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is set to launch its first art forum dedicated to non-fungible tokens. From February 25 to 27, the auction house of Sotheby’s and the Visual Arts Commission of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture will host a three-day digital art forum as part of the first Diriyah Biennale. The first-of-its-kind event will take visitors through the history of NFTS and invite pioneering artists, collectors and curators from the space.

There’s a host of events to expect at the forum, the first of which includes an exhibition of artworks by famous names in the crypto-collectibles, NFT art, nifties, or the crypto art world such as Erick Calderon, Michah Dowbak, and anonymous artist Pak, whose NFT art project sold for US $91.8 million on Nifty Gateway. A number of experts are scheduled to speak at the forum, including Micol, who is the founder of Vertical CryptoArt, a company that specializes in curatorial services, event production, and NFT consultancy. Additionally, Anna Spalter, the developer of the digital fine arts program at Brown University will also be a guest speaker. Visitors will be requested to leave with a personalized proof of attendance, which will be a digital collectible token in the form of an NFT that records attendance on the blockchain.

Yuga Labs, Bored Ape Yacht Club 8817, 2021. Photo: Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Aya Al-Bakree, chief executive officer of Diriyah Biennale Foundation says, “We are delighted to be hosting this first of its kind project at the Diriyah Biennale as a partner of the Visual Arts Commission and Sotheby’s. The Biennale is a hub of arts engagement and learning which inspires creative dialogue across cultures while developing the local ecosystem. This collaboration will, as part of our public program, lead to burgeoning local interest in NFTs and develop best practice in the field with access to leading voices.”

“NFTs are a great technological innovation that enable digital artists to sell and market their work in their native states,” says Michael Bouhanna, co-head of Digital Art Sales, Sotheby’s. “At their core, they allow us to expand our reach and welcome a new audience to the collecting community. This conference is the perfect platform to explore these innovations in Saudi Arabia, continuing this cultural conversation right on the doorsteps of collectors in the region.”

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