Here’s why there was an $11.7M gold cube in the middle of Central Park

Its maker is launching an accompanying cryptocurrency.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Niclas Castello's The Castello CubePhoto by Sandra Mika

You can find nearly anything in New York City's Central Park, so why not a large gold cube?

German artist Niclas Castello placed a cube composed of 186 kilograms of pure 24-karat gold right in the middle of the park on February 3, 2022, according to the Robb Report. The question now becomes: how did he keep the sculpture safe?

An $11.7M gold cube 

Why a gold cube? Castello has billed the 410-pound cube as a conceptual “socle du monde” --base of the world-- sculpture for contemporary days. It's currently not for sale and even if it was, few would afford it. 

As for how the cube is protected, it is flanked by a heavy security detail of its own. According to the artist’s team, it is worth a whopping $11.7 million and actually illustrates a pretty cool concept about the world today. “The cube can be seen as a sort of communiqué between an emerging 21st-century cultural ecosystem based on crypto and the ancient world where gold reigned supreme,” said the Viennese gallerist Lisa Kandlhofer to the Robb Report. And it is indeed based on crypto. Castello is launching an accompanying cryptocurrency alongside the super expensive cube. It's called the Castello Coin, trades as $CAST, and goes for an initial price of 0.39 euros ($0.44) each.

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As with all things current, the Castello Coin is also accompanied by an NFT auction scheduled for February 21, 2022, while the cube is said to have attended a private dinner with celebrities on February 3, 2022.

An expensive fraud?

Although we are now used to art being edgy and contemporary, these installations with accompanying cryptocurrencies can sometimes feel like a bit of a fraud. The story is reminiscent of the work of Salvatore Garau who made the world's first invisible sculpture and sold it for 15,000 euros ($17,173). That work of art consisted of simply an empty space that no one was allowed to breach. We can at least take solace in the fact that no one could steal it whereas the gold cube had to be placed in Central Park with a lot of security to keep it safe. What will these artists think of next?

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