NFTs Based on Masterworks Now Paused in Italy

NFT Masterworks paused

NFT stands for “non-fungible token,” meaning that NFTs function as an exchangeable, one-of-a-kind piece of digital artwork that cannotbe replaced by an identical substitute. With the recent increase in popularity of NFTs and other purchasable internet-exclusive commodities, the ethicality of making such products has been called into question overseas.


Last week, The Art Newspaper reported that the Italian government has made attempts to halt the creation of NFTs based on masterworks from famous artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.

This decision comes after the sale of an NFT based on the Doni Tondo, a piece of art originally completed by Michelangelo in 1506. This NFT sold for roughly $240,000 USD, according to The Art Newspaper. The creation and subsequent sale of this NFT was the result of a five-year contractual agreement between the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and a company called Cinello.


Cinello is a Milan-based startup that partners with museums and utilizes patented modern technology in order to create Digital Art Work (DAW) that seeks to replicate original masterpieces. Cinello has created NFTs based on works like Leonardo da Vinci’s Portrait of a Musician and Amedeo Modigliani’s Head of a Young Lady, according to Art net News.

Portrait of an artist

Museums and cultural institutions all around the world have been suffering financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many organizations saw a need to adopt a different approach that involved utilizing new technology. Guido Guerzoni, a professor at Bocconi University in Milan, told Art net News that “museums need revolution if they want to survive.”


As of now, Cinello’s contracts still remain, but the company will not be permitted to issue any new contracts until further notice.

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