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Picasso’s family denies selling digital NFTs of his artwork

The family of Pablo Picasso have denied widespread media reports that they plan to sell digital versions, or NFTs, of his artwork, their lawyer said on Thursday.

A visitor takes a photo of the
A visitor takes a photo of the "Femme au beret rouge-orange" painting at a Picasso exhibit at the Bellagio Gallery, Nevada. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty/AFP

“The information given in the media that the inheritors plan to launch ‘Pablo Picasso’ NFTs into the market is entirely false,” his lawyer Richard Malka said in a statement.

It followed an interview, widely distributed in the US media and beyond, with Marina Picasso, granddaughter of the Spanish artist who lived from 1881 to 1973, and her son Florian.

The report said they planned to auction 1,000 digital copies of a ceramic bowl painted by the artist in the 1950s.

But the family denied the report, saying the only work being auctioned was by Florian Picasso and his collaborators “independent of all claims vis-a-vis Pablo Picasso and his works”, according to the lawyer’s statement.

It is not clear how the confusion came about, but the family insisted through their lawyer that “at this time, no ‘Picasso’ NFT has been authorised by the Picasso Succession”.

Barely known a year ago, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have suddenly come to dominate the art space.

They are linked to blockchain technology that provides proof of “ownership” of a digital item.

Everything from digital pictures to virtual trading cards to individual tweets have been turned into NFTs and sold, sometimes for vast sums.

The first digital artwork to be sold by a major auction house, by artist Beeple, fetched US$69.3 million at Christie’s last March.

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LIFE IN SPAIN

How Spain will start warning you via SMS of nearby dangers 

The Spanish government will soon introduce a new mobile alert system that will warn people in Spain of nearby catastrophes or emergencies. Here's everything you need to know.

How Spain will start warning you via SMS of nearby dangers 

Spain’s General Directorate of Civil Protection and Emergencies, which belongs to the Ministry of the Interior, has proposed a “system of warnings for the population” that will be released this summer.

Through this service, the Spanish government will be able to alert people of any catastrophes or other potentially dangerous incidents that occur near the area where they are.

This could include anything such as the huge snow storm, like was seen in Madrid last winter or a volcano eruption like was seen recently on the Canary island of La Palma.

How will it work?

Initially, the government was planning on sending SMS text messages, but the Ministry of the Interior warned that these could take several hours to get through to everyone.

Therefore, to transmit the messages they will use Cell Broadcast technology, which is a method of sending messages to multiple mobile telephone users in a defined area at the same time, meaning it will be faster.

It takes up little bandwidth and is automatic so that all the devices that are within the area will receive the message.

However, you must have a modern smartphone for it to be compatible with the system, it won’t work with a very old phone.

What about tourists and foreigners in the area?

The technology means that it won’t only be those with registered Spanish mobile numbers who will receive the alerts, anyone with a mobile phone in a specific area will receive one, regardless of their phone number.

However, the authorities have said that the messages will only be written in Spanish, English and the co-official language of the region such as Catalan in Catalonia.  

What will happen when I receive a message?  

The messages will be accompanied by an alarm sound so that users will know when an important notification has arrived. The alarm will play constantly until you’ve read the message. The system will only work with two alert levels out of the three established by the current Civil Protection Protocol.

The Filomena storm and the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano were at alert level two. 

Leonardo Marcos, general director of Civil Protection, has defined this service as a “112 in reverse”. 

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