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World’s Priciest Painting Not A Full Da Vinci, Claims Doc

A French documentary raises new questions about the “savior” for the work of Leonardo da Vinci, the world’s most expensive painting, and reveals the diplomatic struggle between France and its Saudi Arabian owners.

The painting of Jesus Christ, called the “Mona Lisa of Men,” was sold at a record price of $ 450 million at the Christie’s auction in 2017 in New York.

The secret buyer was later revealed to be Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman, which is still denied in Riyadh.

However, there has long been a question as to whether it was entirely Da Vinci’s work.

This issue resurfaced in 2018 when the paintings did not appear as planned at the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum, and resurfaced at the Louvre’s blockbuster DaVinci show in Paris the following year.

The documentary “Savior for Sale” by filmmaker Antoine Vitkin, now premiered on French television next week, has begun to reveal what was happening behind the scenes.

In this film, a senior government official of President Emmanuel Macron appeared under a pseudonym, produced at a Da Vinci workshop by a scientific analysis of the painting by the Louvre, but only the master himself “contributed” to the painting. It is confirmed that it was concluded.

This obviously fell badly in Saudi Arabia.





This painting was last auctioned at Christie’s in New York in 2017
AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY

“I don’t understand things anymore,” said one of the French officials in the film. “The request for” MBS “(Binsalman) was very clear. Show Salvator Mundi next to the Mona Lisa and present it as 100% Da Vinci. “

Saudi Arabia offered a variety of deals, but his recommendation to Elysee was that this was equivalent to “laundering $ 450 million of artwork.”

The documentary claims that some members of the French government, including Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, lobbied on behalf of Bin Salman. They were concerned about the implications for a wide range of strategic and economic relations between France and Saudi Arabia.

However, Macron eventually decided to reject Bin Salman’s request, leaving the Louvre to negotiate with Saudi Arabia on how to present the painting in a retrospective, the documentary said. No contract has been signed and the museum refused to comment on the incident.

“Saudis are afraid to discuss this credibility,” said Chris Delcon, who leads one of France’s top museums and advises the Saudi government on art, in a documentary.

“They are afraid that people at home and abroad will say,’I spent all this money for something that wasn’t DaVinci.’ “

The painting was originally purchased by a New York art dealer in 2005 for only $ 1,175 and was restored in the United States.

Two years later, two years later, the painting went to the Russian oligarch for $ 127.5 million after several British experts certified the painting as the long-lost Da Vinci and presented it at the National Gallery in London in 2011. Sold.



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