“Looty”: using NFTs to steal back looted African artworks, digitally.

Reuters describes the Looty Project as one man’s crusade to finance new artists in Nigeria and Benin by selling NFTs minted from 3D images of looted artifacts displayed in European museums:

“Imagine a world where these items were never looted,” [Chidi] Nwaubani told Reuters in an interview. “We’re just trying to reimagine that world and bring that world into the digital form.”

The process begins with what Nwaubani called a “digital art heist”, a perfectly legal procedure in which a Looty team member goes to a museum and scans a target object using technology that can be used to create a 3-D image.

An NFT of the image is created and put up for sale via the Looty website, which also acts as an online gallery where anyone can view the images for free. Nwaubani said 20% of the proceeds of NFT sales would go towards grants for African artists aged 25 or under.

Looty’s first NFTs are based on an image of one of the Benin Bronzes that were looted by British troops in 1897 from what is now Nigeria and are held in the British Museum in London.

“Knowing that it’s Nigerian but it lives outside of Nigeria has always troubled me. So I felt that there’s something that we could do to change that,” said Nwaubani.

Looty’s next big project is focused on an Ancient Egyptian item, Nwaubani said, declining to give further details.

[via I can’t remember who right now but thanks!]