World’s most expensive painting isn’t full da Vinci: officials
True colors exposed!
The world’s most expensive painting was only partially done by Leonardo da Vinci – a reveal that, according to a new documentary, allegedly sparked a cover-up and international political scandal.
The 16th-century masterpiece, titled “Salvator Mundi,” was reportedly sold in 2017 in New York City for a record $ 450 million to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This emerges from the French documentary “The Savior for Sale”, which premieres next week.
However, experts at the Louvre in Paris discovered through scientific analysis in 2019 that, according to excerpts from the film published by The Times of Malta, da Vinci only “contributed” to the painting depicting Jesus Christ in Renaissance robes.
When French officials told Saudis of the discovery, they allegedly asked officials to hide the fact that the artwork was not a full da Vinci, high-ranking officials for French President Emmanuel Macron said.
“Things became incomprehensible,” said an unnamed French official. “The request from [the prince] was very clear: Show the ‘Salvator Mundi’ next to the ‘Mona Lisa’ and present it 100 percent as a da Vinci. “
The Saudis then made various offers to brush the painting’s origins under the table, the documentary claims.
“The Saudis are scared of this debate about authenticity,” said Chris Dercon, who heads one of France’s top museum groups and advises the Saudi government on arts. “They are afraid that people at home and abroad will say, ‘You spent all that money on something that is not a Da Vinci.'”
According to the documentary, some members of the French government, including Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, stood up for the Saudi prince’s request.
Macron decided to decline the prince’s request and leave it to the Louvre to negotiate with the Saudis about how the painting should be presented.
Ultimately, the painting was never shown at the Louvre and the museum has refused to comment on the case, according to the filmmakers.
The painting was first purchased in 2005 for only $ 1,175 from a New York art dealer and restored in the United States.
British experts later authenticated the art and presented it in London’s National Gallery in 2011. Two years later it was sold to a Russian oligarch for $ 127.5 million.