Associated Press Auctions 10 NFTs Celebrating 175 Years of Photojournalism

A representation of Joe Rosenthal’s famous shot of U.S. soldiers raising the American flag on Iwo Jima in 1945 is the first NFT to be auctioned.

AccessTimeIconMay 26, 2021 at 7:57 a.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 3:19 a.m. UTC

The Associated Press (AP) is auctioning off a series of 10 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) representing some of history's most recognizable photographs.

The first in the series has been put up for bid on NFT marketplace OpenSea. A representation of AP’s famous shot taken in 1945 of six U.S. soldiers raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, Japan is the first NFT in the series titled “AP ARTiFACTS: The 175 Collection.”

For the sale, digital artist Marko Stanojevic has repurposed the 76-year-old Pulitzer-Prize-winning image taken by AP photographer Joe Rosenthal. The NFT also includes a musical score from violinist Nick Kennerly and rarely seen images from Rosenthal, as well as Iwo Jima film and audio from the agency's archives.

All images will feature artistic renditions rather than the original photo, according to a press release on Tuesday.

The news agency said it has been working with blockchain company Everipedia and digital artists to publish "one-of-a-kind" artworks on the Ethereum blockchain in a bid to celebrate the news agency's 175 anniversary this month.

“We are excited about this new way to view, own and experience historic moments captured by AP journalists,” said Dwayne Desaulniers, AP’s director of blockchain and data licensing, per the release. “AP’s NFTs are a homage to our rich history of factual journalism, history and facts that belong on-chain.” 

AP also said it has created and cryptographically signed the collection with the proceeds from the auction going to support the agency's journalism.

Earlier this year, AP sold its first NFT titled “The Associated Press calls the 2020 Presidential Election on Blockchain – A View from Outer Space” for 100 ETH, roughly $180,000 at the time. The event marked the first instance a U.S. election was called on-chain, with AP using its Ethereum address to declare the winner via Everipedia’s OraQle software.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.

Read more about