It’s official: The startup formerly known as Art.sy is now, simply, Artsy.
The New York-based Artsy, which runs a website where people can discover and collect artwork, confirmed today that it has indeed permanently changed its web address from Art.sy to Artsy.net. TechCrunch first reported on the apparent switch yesterday.
Artsy, which launched in the spring of 2010, has attracted a good deal of attention over the years with its domain name — Art.sy was certainly a clever web address, but it was also controversial, as .sy is the official domain suffix for the Syrian Arab Republic, which is in the midst of a very violent civil war.
In a press release issued this morning, Artsy said it had been planning to move off the .sy domain later this year, but escalated the switch to this week after experiencing a 36-hour outage due to issues with DNS servers in Syria. (Internet access has been unreliable in Syria for months now, in several cases the government itself has reportedly blocked access to the web for days.)
From the release:
“We first registered the art.sy domain in 2009, and chose the name Art.sy because it is the shortest spellable English
language domain that begins with the word “art.” In April of 2011, we renewed the contract for another two years, extending our registration through the end of 2013. Subsequently, as the conflict in Syria escalated, we realized it
might not be possible to renew the domain again due to U.S. sanctions. We also did not want a domain that could be construed in any way as supporting the Syrian government. As such, we purchased the artsy.net domain in 2012 in preparation for a transition later in 2013.
Although as of early yesterday morning, we were fully back up and running on our old domain, given this unprecedented disruption to our service, we decided to accelerate the transition, and all of our services are now fully accessible on http://artsy.net.“
Meanwhile, on the business side Artsy seems to be bigger than ever. The site now has more than 21,000 artworks from over 4,500 leading artists, which are discoverable via Artsy’s Pandora Radio-like “Art Genome Project” search engine that is meant to find artwork that suits each visitor’s personal tastes. This move seems like a very smart choice to ensure that going into the future, Artsy’s service is as reliable as possible — and the company’s conscience is clean as possible.
Artsy is a new way to discover art you’ll love, featuring work from leading galleries, museums, and private collections around the world. Artsy launched at Disrupt in New York in May 2010 winning the Rookie award. The site then shifted focus from a general-interest art-buying site to one more focused on high-end art dealers and collectors. Artsy signed up powerful New York city art dealer Larry Gagosian as an advisor and is negotiating with other world-class galleries to highlight their...