The ‘.art’ is one of a new breed of suffixes that can replace web address endings including ‘.com’ or ‘.co.uk’. New options first became available in 2014 when a number of new names were released such as ‘.london’.
Galleries that have been described as “early adopters” of the '.art' domain include silver dealers Koopman Rare Art, European sculpture specialists Tomasso Brothers Fine Art, modern art dealers Stern Pissarro Gallery and African tribal art specialist Didier Claes.
Others to have signed up to use the online suffix are museums such as the Tate, the French national antique dealers' association Syndicat National des Antiquaries, as well as artists and art foundations.
Some are completely moving their websites to a ‘.art’ domain while others are using a ‘.art’ address for new content as part of their existing website. The ‘.art’ domain will also be used by some organisations to promote specific exhibitions and projects.
US body ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is the body that licences new suffixes.
The ‘.art’ domain name was created by UK Creative Ideas Limited in agreement with ICANN, and it will act as the exclusive operator of the domain.