Landmark Arrest Warrant for Nelson Mandela Up for Auction as NFT 16

Landmark Arrest Warrant for Nelson Mandela Up for Auction as NFT

The buyer will have exclusive access to the original document at the museum.

The NFT, created from an arrest warrant for Nelson Mandela, was up for auction for about $130,000 to help fund the Lily Leaf Museum Heritage Site , where the paper version of the original document is kept. The buyer will have exclusive access to the original document at the museum.

Nelson Mandela 1961 arrest warrant
Original arrest warrant for Nelson Mandela in 1961

The museum documents and preserves information about South Africa’s struggle for democracy – it is also the original site of the secret headquarters of Mandela’s political party, the African National Congress. Liliesleaf Farm is where Mandela and other leading party activists hid before being arrested during a police raid in 1963.

Mandela was the first black president of South Africa and a political revolutionary who served 27 years in prison as a political prisoner until 1990 for anti-apartheid activism. NFTsNon-fungible token, a type of cryptographic token, each instance of which is unique (specific) and cannot be exchanged or replaced by another similar token, although tokens are usually fungible in naturewas minted from the original warrant, which was issued in 1961 and accused the revolutionary leader of plotting to overthrow the then white minority government.

Why NFT Auctions?

Aren Posthumus, CEO of the Momint marketplace, where it was minted and subsequently auctionedAn auction is a public sale through a bidding process where an asset is sold to the highest bidder.arrest warrant for NFT, told Bloomberg News that selling NFTs is a way for these heritage sites to generate income to “stay afloat.” He added that:

“They have been hit hard by the lack of tourism due to Covid. So it’s a way to spice up their flow and keep history alive.”

This is not the first time that an item of African heritage has been auctioned as NTF. In 2021, the Liliesleaf Museum Heritage Site also auctioned Oliver Tambo’s NFT for approximately $50,000. Tambo was a freedom fighter and, along with Mandela, was a member of the African National Congress.

Mandela’s Prison Art

A separate company minted many NFTs featuring Mandela’s prison artwork, which depicts a cell on Robben Island, where he spent 18 years of his 27-year sentence. Collectors can spend up to $3,500 to acquire ownership of the NFT.

Window by Nelson Mandela.
Window by Nelson Mandela

Bonhams, the company behind the NFT, is said to have the blessing of the late South African revolutionary’s daughter, Makaziweh Mandela. She said in an interview with The Guardian newspaper that the artwork represents “a triumph of the human spirit. 

Church on Robben Island built by Nelson Mandela
Church on Robben Island built by Nelson Mandela

Dubbed “My Robben Island”, Mandela’s prison art consists of five watercolor paintings and a handwritten letter titled “Motivation” that explains his bleak visual representations of his imprisonment. The paintings and letter were painted by Mandela after he left the presidency of South Africa in 1999. All six works bear his signature.

Nelson Mandela's motivation
Nelson Mandela’s motivation