Feb 27, 2019

Why is the Mona Lisa so expensive and what it has to do with information storage.

Information is king. It is information that turns average into famous, strange into scandalous and once unknown into celebrity. But is it always authentic and reliable?

It may be hard to believe, but before the 20th century the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa, was hardly known to anyone and definitely wasn’t showing any signs of becoming the celebrity art piece that it is today.

What made it so famous, apart from the mastery of execution? In 1911 the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre museum and triumphantly returned not long after. Overnight the painting became a sensation – newspaper headlines quickly picked up on the museum scandal.

The mechanism of stimulating public interest, which is now called creating a hype, works without failure to this day. It is the targeted stream of information, created by all the cross-referencing, articles, photos, mentions and memes, that turns a work of art into a famous masterpiece in the eyes of art consumer.

Theft of the Mona Lisa. Illustrator Achille Beltrame (1871-1945), from La Domenica del Corriere, 3rd-10th September 1911.

In our day and age, the value of information, especially when it’s authentic, is obvious. Hence its collection and concentration in a safe, exclusive and trustworthy source is an essential step towards increasing its value and, in turn, the cost of the object related to it. The .ART project, based on a top-level domain, creates an opportunity for creating such unique sources of information.

Domain names are containers for data, each with clear ownership, enabling smooth access of all users to the global information field. If a domain that belongs to the Louvre museum will be dedicated to the Mona Lisa painting, that website will become the source and container of absolutely all trustworthy information on the piece, the value of which is supported by the museum authority.

The same mechanism will work with any data sources that belong to the owners and administrators of cultural objects and institutions. We will be able to create hundreds of thousands, and even millions of new containers, with the information in them constantly growing while retaining its trustworthiness. In turn, the value and cost of the object the information is dedicated to, will grow too.

The .ART project offers a new type of asset, Art Records, which is as valuable as shares of Google and Facebook, oil futures, stakes in venture funds or property deeds.

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