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  • Writer's pictureWolfgang Bergmann

Wolfgang Bergmann: Why Vienna's Belvedere is sticking with NFTs this Valentine's Day

Are NFTs still a viable source of revenue for museums and galleries? The Belvedere Museum in the Austrian capital Vienna thinks so.


Here their Chief Financial Officer Wolfgang Bergmann explains — in 250 words — why they're sticking with NFTs this Valentine's Day.


 

"The Belvedere aims to be a museum that matters, therefore we must connect the past with the present - and the future. In the area of Web3, we’re one of the early innovators among museums; when we dropped our The Kiss NFT in 2022, people asked if we were simply trying to make a buck.



My answer was straightforward: generating income is part of my job, and we've sold 2,600 NFTs to date, earning over 4 million euros. But it’s about much more than fundraising, our NFT campaign has reached people worldwide who previously had no connection to Klimt or the Belvedere.

 

In terms of NFTs, we are at the beginning of our journey. The movement may have lost momentum due to current economic turmoil and the crypto-winter, but there is no doubt that blockchain technology is here to stay, and our NFT project expands its importance.


The Kiss on an iPad being held in front of the work itself
The Kiss NFT presentation. Photo: Ouriel Morgensztern | Belvedere Vienna

NFTs need to be approached creatively to be successful, so we created an additional emotional benefit by adding an option for a dedication to a loved one.


As we bring our NFT to New York audiences this Valentine’s Day, I’m reminded that museums shouldn’t view NFTs in isolation, but as a bridge to the Metaverse - connecting the digital and physical worlds. We, as cultural institutions, bring valuable perspectives to innovative futures: the long-term thinking gained from our traditional methods.


As cultural managers, we must constantly think about passing heritage on to young people. To accomplish this, we must transform with new technologies."


Wolfgang Bergmann has been the Belvedere’s Chief Financial Officer since January 2017


The Kiss NFT will be presented at Superchief Gallery in New York from 14 —18 February 2024 (free admission)

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