The use cases of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have evolved from pixelated punks and apes to real-world applications like real estate contracts and music royalties. Another use case is surfacing as the Monuverse uses NFTs to preserve cultural heritage around the world.
Through a combination of blockchain technology, 3D imaging, generative art and local collaboration, the Monuverse is using NFTs to take important global monuments into digital reality where they will be infinitely preserved.
The first NFT project of this caliber from the Monuverse highlights the Arco della Pace, or the Arc of Peace, in Milan Italy.
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The initial digital rendering of the monument will not be available for individual ownership under the precipice of intellectual property law and authorization of the Italian Ministry of Culture: Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscapes Milan Authority.
However, a subsequent drop of 7,777 randomized NFTs gives individuals a piece of the virtual counterpart of the monument and access to related events. These NFTs also open up a new means of cultural heritage patronage to owners.
Cointelegraph spoke with Andrea Marec, a co-founder of Monuverse, to understand how NFTs can help further preserve this cultural heritage and boost virtual tourism efforts.
NFTs are expected to be a major aid to usher the next billion users into the crypto space. This will especially be the case if they are connected with already known and valued elements of their cultural heritage, creating a sense of familiarity.
Marec says when NFTs of monuments are created it will help create “a tangible bridge between realities” and contribute to a virtual ecosystem.
“Being one of the virtual owners of a real historic monument should come with both feelings: not only do you own a cool piece, but you are actively helping safeguard heritage in an innovative and fun way.”
Virtual preservation of monuments means that they will be frozen in time as they are today. If global conflicts or natural erosion takes place in the real world, virtual reality will have an untouched version for future generations to enjoy.
“Owning a Monuverse NFT is not only an honor but also a responsibility,” says Marec.
An important aspect of this project is that part of the revenue from NFT drops provides “perpetural funding” to the local institutions to which these monuments belong.
“[Funding] will accelerate the maintenance and restoration of monuments around the world, a lot of which are really at risk.”
Marec says this is definitely something the project plans to “change for the better.”
Aside from cultural heritage, NFTs can create new possibilities for the world of virtual tourism in Web3. While virtual reality and augmented reality have been important in the creating digital experiences Marec believes they cannot do it alone.
“Web3 will be critical in this field because it will take people’s experiences to a whole new level. I believe the key word here is ownership.”
According to the Monuverse co-founder, virtual tourism can take on a new level of connection to a place as visitors who own a related NFT can develop a real sense of ownership and belonging like never before.
Already, metaverse events at historical sites are proving to be innovative ways to connect the past to the future.