Investigation into a person who burned a drawing of Frida Khalo to sell it as NFT

It is the businessman Martin Mobarak, who incinerated a work of the renowned artist Frida Khalo, valued at 10 million dollars. Now, the Mexican National Institute of Fine Arts is investigating him for “deliberate destruction of an artistic monument”.

Martin Mobarak, is a Mexican-American businessman, who last July burned the drawing “Fantasmones siniestros” (1944) in Miami. The work is about none other than Frida Khalo, the well-known Mexican artist, who ten years before her death created this work that was valued at 10 million dollars.

The incineration of the work is believed to have been done to give more value to the work, which was later presented digitized and in NFT format. For its part, the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature of Mexico reported this act and proposed to investigate and gather all the necessary information to establish this unthinkable movement that has occurred with the work of one of the most recognized artists in the world.

In Mexico, there is a decree declaring all of Frida Khalo’s work an artistic monument. Consequently, local media in the country have said that this constitutes a crime of deliberate destruction in terms of the Federal Law on Monuments and Archaeological, Artistic and Historical Zones.

However, the entrepreneur chose to defend himself by saying that thanks to all this project he generated, the burned drawing will achieve a growth in the national patrimony, since, he created a collection of 10,000 NFTs of this work and they will be sold for 3 ETH each. As of the day of making this note, the native cryptocurrency on the Ethereum blockchain is at approximately $1300 USD. Which could be a collection of almost $40 million USD.

Work “Fantasmones Siniestros” by Frida Khalo.

The complete project can be seen in the official website The complete project can be seen on the website created by the millionaire who acquired the work, where you can see everything it contains, such as a future Metaverse linked especially to Frida Khalo and also the organizations that will benefit from these sales, among them are the Origen Foundation, the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico, the Frida Khalo Museum located in Coyoacan, Mexico, the National School of Plastic Arts in Mexico City, the Children’s Craniofacial Association, and the association for children with autism.

Although all these organizations are listed on the official website of the project, the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature of Mexico denied the possibility that these public institutions will receive any donation from the said entrepreneur. Also, they said that the Bank of Mexico is a trustee in the Diego Rivera and Frida Khalo Museums Trust (as a reference to the money that will be collected in cryptocurrency format).

Mobarak acquired the work in 2015, after buying it from the New York gallery “Mary Anne Martin”. The businessman admitted that the action he took may be strong and can even be misinterpreted, but he assured that it is a process to bring the Mexican artist to a new immortalization, since, burning the work and having it only exist as a digital asset (in this case NFTs) will help to create funds for organizations.

The event was held on July 30 in Miami and the official website invites the public to buy in November, when the NFTs will go on sale, with the phrase “The most historic NFT in existence”.

Finally, remember that this is not the first time that non-fungible tokens have been created with great historical figures. At NFTexpress we have shared the note on the Nelson Mandela Foundationwhich launched NFTs in commemoration of the former president of South Africa. Although it was not in the same way as Frida Khalo, we note how this action begins to be something natural in the ecosystem and new ways to value digital arts with blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens.

Written by Rodrigo Catalan (TW: @RodrigoCatalanB) for NFT Express.