This morning, joggers in New York’s Central Park may have come across a curious, rather illustrious sight. A cube composed of 186 kilograms of pure 24-karat gold, conceived by the German artist Niclas Castello who has billed it as a conceptual “socle du monde” (base of the world) sculpture for our time, was wheeled out to the Naumburg Bandshell this morning at around 5:00am.Artnet News
The one-day installation has its own security detail and will sit aptly in the Gilded Age landmark designed by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted before a turn as the guest of honor at a special celebrity-laden private dinner being held later this evening on Wall Street. A special kiln had to be created in order to pour the tremendous volume of 2,012° F melted gold ore required for the 410-pound piece. The dimensions of the cube are about the size of a typical footstool, although its weight means it is worth over $11.7 million according to Wednesday’s market prices. 

The installation coincides with the launch of a new NFT and not-at-all gimmicky cryptocurrency that the artist calls The Costello Coin. The project is meant to “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.” Some might view its viral social media reaction as a preview of the splash that architect Stefano Boeri’s planned seven-story Blloku Cube will make when it opens in Albania before 2030.
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