The House of Alba converts a letter from Christopher Columbus into digital art

Sandoval and Ramírez, after the presentation of the project. / J.r. hernando / ep

The letter on which the project is based was valued years ago by Christie's at about one hundred million dollars

The House of Alba has just entered the mysterious world of NFTs, a vague and mysterious thing but that is called to fill the pockets of the savvy in achieving splendid short-term returns. The descendants of the Duchy of Alba have a large cultural and artistic heritage, which can be digitized and from which to extract copies. To open their mouths, they have started with the Colon cards, destined to become unique pieces. The current Duke of Alba, Carlos Fitz-James, the oldest of the brothers and head of one of the richest historical heritages in Europe, sponsors the project, with which the family aspires to appear in the intricate labyrinth of the metaverse.

NFTs –Non Fungible Tokens– represent a new type of digital works that allow the buyer to prove their authenticity thanks to a 'blockchain' code, the same one used by cryptocurrencies. A letter from Colón, belonging to the family archive and which Christie's once valued at 100 million dollars, is the cornerstone on which the initiative was born. "We are making history, excited to open the door to the metaverse, which is undoubtedly the future," said Emilio Ramírez, secretary of the Casa de Alba Foundation, who presented the project this Thursday at the Palacio de Liria, the largest private residence Madrid and one of the most renowned in Europe.

The NFT origin of the whole shebang is an animation by the Spanish-Venezuelan artist Pedro José Sandoval, a man with little prestige in the art world but with a certain reputation in the NFTs.


Exercising patronage in art and culture is part of the most deeply rooted tradition of the Alba. For something the Ducal House is the owner of a large number of paintings, sculptures, documents and manuscripts, archaeological pieces, jewelry, furniture and costumes. Sandoval has created an animated short, a series of sculptures, images and original music around the figure of Columbus and his voyages to America. The animation, of which some advance images were offered, lasts about three minutes, a record in the field of crypto art.

The NFT will be presented in Davos and it is possible that it could be exhibited in the Palacio de Liria, which a few years ago opened its doors to the public as a museum. The Ducal House does not consider selling the piece in the next three years, but it is contacting museums around the world for its exhibition. "Perhaps tomorrow the visit to the Liria palace can be done in the metaverse, it is a very exciting project with which we want to learn," said Ramírez.

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