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Fractionalized NFT Project Particle Sends Banksy Artwork on Loan to Global Museums

“Love Is In The Air,” also known as the “Flower Thrower” or “LIITA” by Banksy, is set for a global showcase. Courtesy: banksyexplained.com
Particle, a digital art platform, is set to lend out its fractionally-owned Banksy masterpiece to renowned museums worldwide.

Particle Collection announced on Twitter, “Great news! Our beloved Banksy’s “Love Is In The Air”, kindly provided by Particle’s joint owners, is kicking off its European journey.”

The exhibition will debut in the UK next month, as reported by Decrypt. Following this, the artwork will be displayed in Amsterdam and then Barcelona, with each city hosting it for a span of six months.

Particle, inaugurated in 2021, is the brainchild of Loïc Gouzer, previously the chairman of Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art; Shingo Lavine and Adam Lavine, the minds behind Ethos.io; Philip Eytan, co-founder and chairman of Voyager; and Oscar Salazar, the inaugural CTO and Chief Architect at Uber.

This innovative initiative aims to break down high-value art pieces into non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

According to their official website, the process of “particalization” involves segmenting an artwork into multiple particles. Each particle symbolizes a unique segment of the artwork, allowing co-owners to assert ownership of a particular section of the art piece.

10,000 Particles of Banksy

Banksy’s renowned artwork, ‘Love is in the Air’, valued at a staggering $12.9 million, was segmented into 10,000 NFTs in December 2021. This fractionalized art is overseen by the non-profit entity, the Particle Foundation.

This Foundation administers the artworks in alignment with the choices of the co-owners. As Harold Eytan, Particle’s CEO, shared with Decrypt, “Owners have the privilege to determine the artwork’s display location.”

The platform’s website highlights that Particle collectors enter into a collective ownership structure. They have a say in selecting artworks to purchase, and also in making decisions about whether and when to offload them.

Currently, the community boasts over 2,500 co-owners.

Eytan believes the landscape of art ownership and governance is on the cusp of transformation, especially as “an increasing number of institutions are warming up to the idea of digital art and NFTs.”

Alien vs. Banksy

Particle engages its collector community with exclusive art-centric events. In certain instances, collectors are also entitled to tangible components corresponding to the digital assets.

Highlighting one such case, Eytan shared that top collectors receive an H.R. Giger print. Giger, a renowned artist, was a pivotal member of the Academy Award-winning special effects team for Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’ series, most notably credited with designing the iconic Alien creature.

According to the platform’s FAQ:

“After the release of 10,000 Particles associated with [Love Is In The Air] and in response to comprehensive community feedback, we’ve adopted a fresh approach. Commencing with H.R. Giger’s Necronom (Alien III), Particles now stand for the complete legal title and financial rights tied to the respective art piece.”

In the case of the Banksy artwork, the Particles don’t signify a monetary stake in the artwork itself, as clarified on their website. Instead, they epitomize governance rights concerning the piece, facilitated by the Foundation.

Additionally, the Particle Foundation maintains active collaborations with global galleries and institutions. The team recounted their ventures in hosting exhibitions across numerous cities and establishing partnerships with esteemed entities like the Phillips Auction House, Praz Delavallade, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami, to name a few.

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