Video Shows Millionaire Burning $10 Million Frida Kahlo Historical Artwork to Sell as NFT
“An atrocious act.”
A Florida millionaire caused outrage after burning a rare $10 million Frida Kahlo drawing to sell as NFTs (non-fungible tokens). According to the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature, Martin Mobarak is now reportedly being investigated by officials in Mexico, where the late Kahlo is understandably considered a national treasure. Mobarak is defending his actions, saying the profits will go to charity. Here's what happened to Fantasmones Siniestros and the public backlash against Mobarak.
Fantasmones Siniestros is considered particularly special as it was a drawing from Kahlo's diary. "In Mexico, the deliberate destruction of an artistic monument constitutes a crime in terms of the federal law on archaeological, artistic and historical monuments and zones," the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature said in a statement. "All the necessary information is currently being collected in order to establish with certainty that it was the destruction of an original work or a reproduction." Keep reading to learn more and see the video.
Not content with simply burning the work, Miami-based Mobarak hosted an event for people and invited guests to watch the act of destruction. "I hope that everyone here can understand it, I hope everyone can see the positive side," the 57-year-old said before setting the painting alight in a martini glass. Onlookers can be heard cheering and clapping as the art goes up in flames.
Mobarak brazenly claims Kahlo would have wanted him to do it, as the proceeds will go to the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico, Coyoacan's Frida Kahlo Museum, and a few other children's charities. "What we are going to do is change the lives of thousands of children," Mobarak said. "I hope those who are here can understand, it's to help sick children and victims of domestic abuse."
People are understandably upset at the act of destruction, despite Mobarak's protestations and justifications. "It seems to me a medieval act, an atrocious act, it is not necessary to burn something in the physical universe to put it into the metaverse," says Diego Maria Alvarado Rivera, great-grandson of painter Diego Rivera.
Mobarak appears to be planning similar stunts, based on information posted on his website. "As this historic event creates hope for children and the needy, we will create more historical events," a title card reads at the end of the video. According to Frida.NFT, the drawing has "permanently transitioned into the Metaverse." "Display a piece of history in your home. A limited 10,000 NFT's will circulate as the only authentic connection to the Masterpiece 'Fantasmones Siniestros' by Frida Kahlo. Last valued at over $10,000,000 USD."