A few weeks ago, the city of Cannes announced the sale in the form of NFT of its legacy. A priori we could have said that the city was trying to surf on this new wave of web3. If we look a little closer, we find a thoughtful and matured project in a city that does not rely solely on summer tourism, its film festival and the abundance of professional conventions. Meeting with Régine Resbeut, Major Project Adviser to the Mayor of Cannes (David Lisnard) and Charles-Henri Puaux, President of Pertimm, NFT Publishing House.
– I’m Régine Resbeut, major project advisor to the mayor of Cannes.
– I’m Charles-Henri Puaux, CEO of Pertimm.
RR: Charles-Henri Puaux made a spontaneous proposal to digitize the emblematic sites of Cannes. This idea seduced us right away and we started working together to define which sites we would choose.
CHP: So from my point of view, I have been adopted in Cannes for a year and a half now. And it seemed quite natural and logical to include the city I lived in around this turning point. And that’s what I explained in previous speeches. For me, the meta-verse and all the elements, whether it is crypto or NFTs, for me, what e-commerce and internet 1.0 and 2.0 have brought in the context of communication, within the framework of purchasing and within the framework of art, are interaction between people.
What is the interest of the city of Cannes in transforming certain monuments into digital objects?
RR: The interest is to promote the cultural, natural and spiritual heritage of Cannes and therefore simply to increase the attractiveness of the destination. Cannes is a city that lives by tourism. Tourism is 25% of GDP, it is 40 to 50% of jobs, it is 3 million visitors a year. It is important for us, in the face of competing destinations, to always make the destination more attractive.
And through this digitization of the sites, we found an additional way to improve our heritage, and it was also a way to strengthen something that is very dear to us, the Cannes community. The Cannes community is not only the inhabitants, it is also all the visitors who come to Cannes and all the people who love Cannes. And they are many.
CHP: From my point of view, one of the elements that was also very important in the context of the collaboration and by having selected Cannes. Cannes is the first destination known internationally. I will not say after Paris or before Paris, but who challenge. So there was a real point of impact.
The second point is that the story of Cannes is really linked to a current event, which is tomorrow, Le film festival and consequently all movements of monuments within the framework of the organization of events such as festivals. A festival that could be linked to the cinema or thus one or a festival that could be linked to a host of other elements, as the city of Cannes soon knows how to do it on hydrogen, as it did at IA recently, and these events in , in a very hybrid form, which, thanks to or due to the pandemic, is evolving a lot, and the metavers and the fact that Cannes could fit into it were something important to me.
This week, alongside the launch of the Cannes Film Festival, there will be the Cannes NFT Festival. Are you getting there one way or another?
RR: It is an initiative of the Cannes Film Festival and its partners, which takes place in parallel. It is entirely relevant and complementary to what is being carried out by Cannes City Hall.
CHP: One of the points that is also important is, for example, the initiative that was on Fortnite and where it is a first exploitation of the NFT collection in Cannes, that is, the real point where we are able to show that the way the buildings are embedded in the Fortnite framework in video games. Tomorrow, the proprietor of The Festival Palaceor the Croisette or else could be inspired by this first experience and this first attempt that we made in this context. As part of the use of the Cannes NFT collection.
As for the technical plan, because we always have to know if there is under the bonnet, what blockchain are you using to develop this project?
CHP: Why ? Because there was Polygon, which is actually cheaper, and which we have done a lot of research on today. We looked at what was possible. That is, we have both the title of ownership, which is NFT, and above all, we have the 3D model, which allows its implementation within the framework of the metavers. From that moment on, the only blockchain that allowed us to include and pair them was Ethereum. We tried with other blockchains. Basically, we had problems with it.
One of Ethereum’s points of attack is Proof-of-Work (before the merger) and its ecological aspect. Are you not afraid of bad publicity?
RR: Globally, perhaps to recreate, Pertimm is the creator of these NFTs. The position of Cannes City Hall is that we own the brand walking sticksin complete transparency we have a licensing agreement which allows Pertimm to use the mark, the logo, the image of Cannes.
In the case of this licensing agreement, actually the issue of ecology we discussed it a lot. We have two measures that make it possible to compensate for this carbon footprint. The first is that Pertimm has undertaken to offset the project’s CO2 footprint twice by planting trees, of course certified.
And in addition, 10% of the profits from the auction will be donated to the Scholarship Fund in the city of Cannes, which is a scholarship fund that supports and finances environmental projects. This is actually an important point that we discussed upstream when we had this concern about the CO2 footprint, which may be right or wrong, but which is nonetheless real.
Should we ask companies like Air France to put together their carbon?
CHP: That would mean she is from an energetic point of view, she is positive energy, which is usually impossible. Within the limits of the 10%, there is actually the ecological principle. We are on something very local.
Choosing another blockchain can raise this issue if necessary. And we can see it today, the more a blockchain grows, the more energy it can consume. This point actually means that from the moment we are on a trip on Ethereum, I think we will be on an organic trip anyway. (note with the braid), about mining, so from this point of view, I mean that our initiative is not a random initiative or even an episodic initiative. The real question is “Should we ask companies like Air France to put together their carbon?”
Personally, I do not think we are there yet, and yet we gave them 4 billion. There really is the side that is important and it is something where ecology is important. And it’s all the more important when it’s local. And the choice we made was to make ultra-local, that is, to make Cannes.
I’m very transparent about that. I think maybe during the second or third meeting we had with City Hall, that was one of the points that was discussed. Why ? Because we are lucky, and I mean lucky to develop in a territory where the surroundings are unique.
I do not make myself more of an ambassador than I am for the Cannes area! We are really on to something that you will go to in the Lerins Islands, there is a real point where the ecology is to touch and feel. Which one unfortunately as former Parisians or Londoners do not have.
Do you not think there is a gap between what you develop and what 99% of people today are able to understand?
RR: There is a huge enthusiasm for metaverser, that’s the future of the internet. We believe that doing this project makes people ask questions, we also do pedagogy, education, because we are simply talking about it. Many people wonder, ask us. Ultimately, it creates curiosity among our constituents. In addition, just to get back to education, from April 14 to 16, we hosted the first edition of the World AI Cannes Festival, a show dedicated to professionals and the general public on artificial intelligence of international scope.
That means? We had a day dedicated to the general public with a presentation of the NFT project, which created great enthusiasm. It is really something very important for us to educate the citizens, about digital inclusion in a broad sense and educate people about new technologies. It’s basic, and it’s one of our mayor’s many fighting horses.
What are the next steps in your roadmap?
CHP: The next step is to give an NFT to a public figure during the Cannes Film Festival.
RR: From the world of film!
CHP: So this becomes NFT number one as it is the first to be given. From then on, we have about a month until the time of sale, and therefore we are entering a phase that is quite familiar to auction houses, and which is quite unknown from my point of view. This is the mediation phase of the project, and we will therefore try to spread the project as much as possible beyond the borders, especially at the level of the American and Asian borders, so that we continue to see the Cannes brand as a brand. innovation and a completely new technology. As we can see in France, I have never heard so many topics about the meta-verse since it was announced.
It proves that it had its first effect. Secondly, it will really allow people, if necessary, to identify Cannes as being a point of digital creation, as being an element of global rally, which was my choice.
And what date is the auction scheduled for?
RR: There is an auction on June 21 at 6 p.m. at the Port Canto Harbor Master’s Office, and the ten NFTs will be sold during this auction.
CHP: It will be, but also online. It will be possible to bid online. So I invite you to go to the Artcurial website, the collection of the sale is called I Met My NFT in Cannes, when the origin we took this name because it was the principle of the origin and the meeting, what exactly is Cannes and what exactly is today the meta-verse and therefore the sale I met my NFT in Cannes will of course be for sale online as all auctions today have been completed.
Interview conducted on May 16, 2022 at City Hall in the city of Cannes.