Court Prohibits Display of MetaBirkin NFTs at Stockholm Museum

A request by MetaBirkins for their display at a Stockholm museum was rejected by a judge from the Southern District of New York, who cited insufficient details on how the exhibition would present the NFTs to visitors.

In a legal battle last February, Hermès emerged victorious over Rothschild (also known asny Estival) regarding his N collection titled “MetaBirkins,” features 3D models of the famed Birkin bags with fur in various designs.

jury determined that Rothschild’s NFTs did not meet the criteria to be recognized as art. Consequently, Hermès was awarded $133,000 in damages. Furthermore, Hermès pursued a permanent injunction against Rothschild, which was approved in June.

Court filings from March 13 reveal Rothschild’s inquiry about whether the injunction would prevent him from authorizing the Spritmuseum’s exhibition of the MetaBirkins. The display was intended for an Andy Warhol exhibit focusing on his concept of Business Art, showcasing the works on a screen.

Rothschild explained that the museum, dedicated to contemporary art and spirits, had reached out to him just before the previous Christmas, proposing to exhibit the MetaBirkins on a screen, akin to their online presentation.

Judge Jed S. Rakoff decided that, due to the lack of specific details regarding the permissions Rothschild would grant to the Spritmuseum for promotional activities or merchandise, and the absence of contracts or documentation about the agreement with the museum or the extent of permissions provided, it was unclear if the MetaBirkins exhibition would avoid violating the injunction’s terms.

Further doubts were raised by the testimony of Spritmuseum curator Mia Sundberg and New York-based critic Blake Gopnik, who was involved in organizing the Warhol exhibit. Sundberg mentioned that the museum had not decided if it would address the Hermès lawsuit in the exhibition’s text, aiming for an open-ended narrative approach without labeling Rothschild as a fraud.

Gopnik, who had been dismissed as an expert witness during the trial for failing to meet the Federal Rule of Evidence requirements, had previously criticized the jury’s decision in a Washington Post op-ed, questioning the distinction between Rothschild’s work and other artists who incorporate trademarked items into their art.

The judge expressed significant concerns that allowing Rothschild to grant permission to the Spritmuseum could mislead the public into associating the “MetaBirkins” NFTs or related merchandise with Hermès and its “Birkin” trademark, based on the testimonies provided.