Matt Hancock is promoting crypto art created by his former Ukrainian lodger to help raise money for refugees who have fled the war.
The NFTs, which make up a 15-piece collection called From Ukraine with Love, were made by Oleg Mischenko, whose family had been staying with the former health secretary until they moved into their own home in Suffolk last week.
They will be auctioned off on cryptocurrency trading app Coinbase, this week, with 90 per cent of the money raised going to charity Care International’s Ukraine appeal, while the remaining funds will go to Mr Mischenko’s family.
A physical sale of the art will also take place at the NFT Gallery in Mayfair and the artworks will be traded in Ethereum.
Mr Mischenko’s wife, Iryna Korobkina, and their daughter fled Ukraine in March last year following the Russian invasion, and were taken in by Mr Hancock’s family in the MP’s Suffolk constituency.
The artist joined his family in December after he applied to fight in the Ukrainian army, but was not sent in due to his health.
Mr Hancock said he was “incredibly proud of Iryna and Oleg and I am honoured to support the family with their charity NFT collection”.
Meanwhile speaking about his artworks, Mr Mischenko – who studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architectural Landscape Painting and is a member of the National Union of Artists in Ukraine – said: “I have dedicated my life to painting.
“As Ukraine stares death in the face, it’s time I dedicate my life to my country through these paintings.
“Selling off my works as part of this NFT collection is a way of serving my country and its people. It’s also my way of defending our cultural values, our philosophy, and our European way of life. With your help and support, we can defeat Putin and end this insufferable war. Glory to Ukraine.”
Mr Hancock has vocalised his support for cryptocurrency in the past and received £10,000 for delivering a speech at a cryptocurrency conference last year.