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Carpet given to Pope Francis has been turned into non-fungible token (NFT) to help Afghan weavers



Zelda Caldwell - published on 11/15/21

A digital image of the rug will be sold for an estimated $150,000

A rug given to Pope Francis really is “the gift that keeps giving.” 

In 2016 Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi gave a hand-woven carpet to the Holy Father on the occasion of the sheikh’s visit to the Vatican.

Now that rug has become a non-fungible token (NFT), which is expected to fetch as much $150,000 when it goes on sale later this week, reported

A digital image of the rug was created and will be displayed in “an ornate gold frame on a 65-inch digital canvas,” at Abu Dhabi Art this week, according to the report.

The rug was woven by Afghan women, and produced by Fatima bint Mohamed bin Zayed, a dealer in handcrafts from Afghanistan. 

The company came up with the idea to sell a digital copy of the rug in order to help Afghan weavers who will receive 80% of the sale’s proceeds.

“The process of turning one of our most iconic carpets into an NFT is a crucial step forward for our initiative,” says Maywand Jabarkhyl, chief executive of Fatima Bint Mohamed Bin Zayed Initiative.

“Not only does it give us the chance to bring our designs to a global audience but it opens up a new stream of revenue, which will be invaluable to our artisans in Afghanistan, particularly in light of the latest crisis. With the harsh winter months fast approaching, the funds raised will go towards providing core relief items to those most vulnerable in Afghanistan.”

The original rug, measuring, 9 x 6 ft. is still in the possession of Pope Francis. The purchaser of the NFP, in addition to receiving a framed digital copy of the rug, will take home a replica of rug, measuring 6 x 4 feet.

AfghanistanArtPope Francis
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