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A DAO wants to buy The Constitution of the United States
ConstitutionDAO aims to purchase at auction one of the 11 surviving copies of the document
“We the People of the ConstitutionDAO are a collective placing a bid on the Constitution of The United States of America. We intend to find a home for it among the world’s finest artifacts to be preserved and enjoyed by all. We plan to preserve the physical document by finding a home for it at a highly reputable institution, such as the Smithsonian, and make it accessible to the people.
We’re seeing extraordinary interest from the community to participate in this bid. We have reached 6000 members and 7-figures in commitments. We are garnering participation interest from the most prominent figures in NFT art. We expect this to continue to pick up steam, as the story is one that resonates with our community and its value.”
From the Sotheby’s auction listing:
Thirty-three years after its last appearance at public auction, an exceptionally rare and extraordinarily historic first printing of the United States Constitution returns to Sotheby’s in a dedicated one-lot auction during our series of evening sales on 18 November.
This is one of just thirteen copies of the Official Edition of the Constitution surviving from a printing of 500 issued for submission to the Continental Congress and for the use of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention. This is the very first appearance of the final text of the Constitution, now the longest continuing charter of government in the world.
The present copy was purchased from Sotheby’s by S. Howard Goldman in 1988 and was the crowning jewel of his magnificent collection of historical American books and manuscripts. After Howard’s death in 1997, his widow, Dorothy Goldman, became the custodian of the Constitution, which she made the cornerstone of a remarkable collection of primary materials that place the Constitution in historical context.
Project overview from the ConstitutionDAO discord:
For the first time in thirty-three years, one of eleven surviving copies of the Official Edition from the Constitutional Convention will be publicly auctioned by Sotheby's. It is the only copy that is still owned by private collectors. We intend to put The Constitution in the hands of the people.
The purchase of The Constitution by a decentralized organization represents the evolution of one dominant governance structure to another. Almost 250 years after it’s inception, we see this as a symbolic passing of a torch, the mark of a new era. The Constitution defined the most resilient, robust, and durable social contract known to humans. But the changing of the guard nears as we wade into the unknowns of decentralized governance.
In the ethos and spirit of Web3, we intend to purchase The Constitution, and find a home for it among the world’s finest artifacts to be preserved and enjoyed by all. We the people plan to preserve the document for the people. The governance, of course, will reside within the DAO. We'll fractionalize, NFT-ify, and mem-ify in the way that we do. Great things coming.
Longer term, our vision includes the continuous purchase and preservation of meaningful real-world items, beginning with the Constitution, placing ourselves at the crossroads of the Smithsonian of the physical world and the Archives of the digital world. We fundamentally believe that many one of a kind works are meant to be shared and enjoyed by all.
Care & Custody of The Constitution
We have the distinguished support of Rodney Cook, a curator and historian who is also the Founder and President of the National Monuments Foundation (ooooh fancy). He may not understand crypto, but he understands old stuff and wants to help. He cares very deeply about the preservation of artifacts.
We intend to find a good home, at a world-class museum, for at least the first year following the purchase. Down the road, the DAO will help choose where we continue to preserve it. We hope that it always remains a public good. We plan to ask the host museum to cover costs related to transit, display, maintenance, and insurance. We will not charge them anything-- we just want great custodians who keep it available to the public.
Want to help out or contribute your time/experience to the project?
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