May 12, 2022

Unique NFT Shevchenko poetry project to raise money to help Ukraine – Reuters

A unique NFT project, Voice of Taras Shevchenko, was launched on April 20, 2022, with the aim of raising funds to help Ukraine and Ukrainians affected by Russia’s war against the country.

The project is based on the artificial intelligence R&D technology of the Ukrainian marketing agency TABASCO, which managed to create a reconstruction of the voice of the most famous Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko who lived in the 19th century. 5 of Shevchenko’s most iconic verses were voiced. The development of the project lasted 11 months and 150 experts from various fields participated.

The total of 650 unique and non-repetitive NFTs will be published with excerpts from well-known Shevchenko poems read by the author. The first collection is hosted on OpenSea, which is an excerpt from the poem “Caucasus”:

Keep fighting, you are sure to win!

God help you in your fight!

For glory and freedom walk with you,

and the law is on your side!

The poet’s patriotic and motivational words are placed on 75 unique animations, each of which differs in color, themed icons, words, and timing.

The initial cost of each NFT reflects its importance in the collection. The highest starting price for full shards (11 seconds of timing) in the colors of the Ukrainian flag is 1 ETH (about $3,000). There are only 5 such fragments in the world. The most affordable starting price for NFT with Shevchenko’s voice starts at 0.03 ETH (about $100).

Owners of the 25 most expensive NFTs of the TOP-25 receive the project merchandise, which is a branded hoodie with the words of Shevchenko and QR of the acquired NFT.

All funds received from NFT sales will support Ukrainian volunteering projects. We encourage volunteer projects to join our resources on social media and send in their urgent funding needs.

All payouts and results will be public and approved by the Project Oversight Board.

By purchasing NFT with the voice of Taras Shevchenko, the owner:

  1. obtains a unique recording of the voice of the Ukrainian poet
  2. help Ukraine and Ukrainians
  3. spreads Ukrainian culture all over the world

R&D restoration of Shevchenko’s voice

There is no recording of the poet’s voice – the first sound recording and reproducing device, the phonograph, was invented 16 years after the death of Taras Shevchenko.

Accurate anthropometric data was used to implement the project, which was established thanks to his posthumous mask, which is kept in the Taras Shevchenko National Museum. To make the voice as real as possible, a group of Shevchenko scholars joined the project, researching and analyzing additional information based on eyewitness accounts of the appearance, voice, lifestyle, habits and illnesses of the writer.

Based on the data obtained, a 3D model of Shevchenko’s head was created. Then, using a multifactorial model and a neural network, the three most representative candidates of the 108 candidates were selected. They matched dozens of trained parameters as much as possible, including appearance, height, physique, region, health characteristics and others. In the final stage, using neural synthesis technology, the characteristics of the three voices were combined and the writer’s voice was restored.

See more in the explanatory video

The Taras Shevchenko Voice Research Project Team:

* TABASCO Agency – TOP creative agency of Ukraine

* Wantent – an AI-powered content analytics platform

* Taras Shevchenko National Museum in Kyiv


Project page





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