Millionaire Martin Mobarak was investigated for setting fire to a $10 million Frida Kahlo painting as an NFT stunt

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A wealthy man in Miami said he burned a $10 million painting by the famous painter Frida Kahlo as part of an NFT launch. According to the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature in Mexico, the man is now being looked into by officials in the late artist's home country.

Martin Mobarak, an entrepreneur, filmed himself at an event in July setting fire to a small, colorful drawing by Frida Kahlo. He did this as a stunt to promote the sale of digital copies of the rare work, which is considered a national treasure in Mexico.

"I hope everyone here can understand it, and I hope everyone can see the good side," he said before taking out of its frame what looked like a drawing called "Fantasmones Siniestros" and lighting it on fire in a martini glass full of gasoline.

A small crowd cheers as a video of the event shows the image shrinking and curling in the flames.

Martin Mobarak
Martin Mobarak captured himself on video standing next to the purported Frida Kahlo painting as it burns
FridaNFT/YouTube

The event was meant to promote Mobarak's new business, Frida.NFT, which was selling 10,000 unique NFT copies of "Fantasmones Sinistros."

Mobarak said that the sale of the NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, would help the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico, the Frida Kahlo Museum in Coyoacan, and a number of charities that help children get medical care.

Mobarak said, "We are going to change the lives of thousands of children."

The National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico said Monday that it will start looking into why the drawing was destroyed.

"Mexico's federal law on archaeological, artistic, and historical monuments and zones says that it is a crime to destroy a work of art on purpose," the institute said in a statement.

"All the information we need to know for sure if the work that was destroyed was the original or a copy is being gathered right now," the statement said.

Frida Kahlo painting
The purported Frida Kahlo painting was placed on a martini glass shortly before it was torched.
FridaNFT/YouTube
purported frida kahlo painting burns
The purported Frida Kahlo painting burns as part of a stunt to promote a new NFT.
FridaNFT/YouTube

The institute also said that neither Mobarak nor his company had given any money to the Palace of Fine Arts.

A request for comment from the Mobarak camp was not answered right away.

Frida.NFT says that the drawing has "permanently moved into the Metaverse" on its website.

The company also says that more is on the way.

At the end of the July video, a title card says, "As this historic event gives hope to children and the poor, we will make more historic events."

One of the works found in Kahlo's diary was "Fantasmones Sinistros," which used to be worth $10 million.

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