Investors to be offered ‘shares’ in Picasso painting

A Picasso painting is to be sold in tokenized form, allowing investors to buy "shares" in the work, Swiss digital asset bank Sygnum announced July 15.

Sygnum joined forces with Artemundi, a fund specializing in art investments, to offer the shares in Picasso's 1964 work "Fillette au Beret."

"This marks the first time the ownership rights in a Picasso, or any artwork, are being broadcast onto the public blockchain by a regulated bank, enabling investors to purchase and trade 'shares' in the artwork called Art Security Tokens [ASTs]," Sygnum said.

The value of the work, which measures 65 by 54 centimeters (29 by 24 inches), is estimated at four million Swiss francs (3.6 million euros, $4.2 million), the Zurich bank said in a statement.

As on stock exchanges, investors will be able to buy and sell shares in the painting on a secondary market through blockchain technology.

ASTs will go on sale for a minimum subscription of 5,000 Swiss francs, Sygnum said, stressing that it is regulated by Switzerland's financial market watchdog FINMA.

The work itself will be stored in a highly secure location, Sygnum said.

"Tokenization lowers the barriers to art investment and opens up the art market to a broad range of new investors," Sygnum's director general and co-founder Mathias Imbach said in the statement.

In 2019, FINMA gave Sygnum permission to operate as a bank, making it one of the world's first crypto-banks.

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