Wu-Tang Clan’s Unreleased ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ In Australian Museum

Wu-Tang Clan
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 21: RZA (top) and (L-R) Young Dirty Bastard, U-God, Raekwon, Masta Killa, Cappadonna and Inspectah Deck of Wu-Tang Clan perform during a stop of the N.Y. State of Mind tour at MGM Grand Garden Arena on October 21, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Wu-Tang Clan’s most mysterious work finds a new home. Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, known as the world’s rarest album, is headed to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania, Australia.

Exclusive Listening Events

According to the MONA official website, a select number of ticketholders will have the chance to listen to the unreleased recording when visiting the museum. “Final thing on the Wu-Tang bucket list, and probably the only chance you’ll ever get to hear it,” detailed the museum on Instagram. They shared an image of the work, announcing, “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is coming to Namedropping, and we’re holding a small number of free listening events for a very lucky few from 15–24 June. Tickets available from 10am, Thursday 30 May. Run don’t walk, bring da ruckus, etc.”

The listening events will run from June 15-24. People who want a chance at the tickets will need to move quickly. Tickets will be released at 10 a.m. Thursday local time in Tasmania, the museum said.

The Wu-Tang Album’s Journey

The album, which has 31 tracks, was put up for auction in 2015 and purchased for $2 million by Martin Shkreli, a pharmaceutical CEO. Shkreli infamously drove up the price of a life-saving prescription by 5,000% and eventually served seven years in prison for securities fraud. By July 2021, Shkreli had been exposed as a criminal and sentenced to prison for fraud. As part of restitution, he was required to forfeit approximately $7.4 million USD in assets, including the Wu-Tang album, which was seized by the government in 2018. The album was then purchased by an undisclosed buyer.

After the government sale, RZA expressed regret for the initial transaction with Shkreli. “It was in the wrong hands in reality. He made the deal before it was revealed of his character, his personality, and all of the insidious things he would go on to do. That wasn’t the guy I met, but he definitely unfolded into that guy.”

Part of the NAMEDROPPING Exhibit

The Once Upon a Time in Shaolin album is part of a larger exhibition titled NAMEDROPPING that will be on display through April 2025. The exhibit questions, “Why are we drawn to certain objects and people?”

The MONA website continues to detail, “What is the nature of status and why is it useful? Is it just culture, or is there something deeper?” The exhibit features notable figures, cultural imprints, and businesses, such as J. Robert Oppenheimer, McDonald’s, Madonna, and Jimi Hendrix.