From an email sent to me by The Art Newspaper:
The splitting and tokenization of art is all the rage. While the idea of unlocking the value of a work of art by selling shares of it has been around for over a decade, a host of new initiatives are taking it to an explosive new level.
Among the brightest new launches is Liechtenstein’s Artex Stock exchange, co-founded by financiers Prince Wenceslas von Liechtenstein and Yassir Benjelloun-Touimi, the latter apparently the driving force. The project buys art (its first acquisition is the work of Bacon Three studies for a portrait of George Dyer, 1963) bought for $52 million in 2017 at Christie’s and today valued at $55 million. Investors can buy shares for as little as $100 in Bacon, which can be traded (or technically, the company that owns them) on the Liechtenstein MTF (an alternative trading platform). Other paintings will follow; trading begins July 21.
These ideas strike me as odd. The more wonderful it is to own art, the lower its monetary rate of return must be, as a reward. So why buy fractional shares of a work of art? You can’t hang it on your work and at the same time you get the lower than normal rate of return resulting from some people being able to hang it on their walls.