Ukrainians Are Using NFTs To Save Their Cultural Landmarks From Russian Destruction
The new project aims to “digitize every single piece of art or history” in Ukraine as Russia continues to wage war.
As Russia continues its deadly invasion of Ukraine, a blockchain-focused non-profit hopes to digitize historical landmarks and cultural sites at risk of being destroyed.
“Today we are announcing a new project [aimed at] how we can save the DNA of the Ukrainian people, Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian history,” said Michael Chobanian, president of the Blockchain Association of Ukraine, during a panel discussion at CoinDesk’s Concessus 2022 conference.
According to UNESCO, at least 143 religious sites, museums, historic buildings, libraries, cultural centers, and monuments have been damaged in the conflict, with some experts suggesting that Russian forces are deliberately targeting landmarks. According to Chobanian, replicating these heritage sites on the blockchain can help to preserve Ukrainian culture and history.
“Right now, they are bombing museums, churches, and cultural sites,” he said. “So before they are destroyed…we’re going to digitize every single piece of art or history that we have in museums. We’re going to NFT it and put it on the blockchain.”
The project is partnering with NEAR Protocol, a layer-1 blockchain platform, to bring its mission to life.
“It is extremely important to bring all the Ukrainian heritage on-chain and offer it to the world and preserve it forever,” said NEAR Protocol founder Illia Polosukhin, who was also on stage during the panel.
According to CoinDesk, the project aims to “provide a digital window into Ukraine’s cultural DNA,” and will be available for anyone to view from anywhere in the world. The Ukrainian government previously launched the MetaHistory NFT museum to keep record of Russian activities in Ukraine and celebrate Ukrainian identity and freedom.