Police find stolen copy of Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi in Naples flat – The Guardian

Italy
Museum shut due to coronavirus was unaware that 500-year-old painting had been missing
Agence France-Presse in Rome

Tue 19 Jan 2021 15.01 GMT

“The painting was discovered on Saturday thanks to a dazzling and thorough police operation,” said Naples district attorney Giovanni Melillo.”There was no complaint on the matter and in truth we got in touch with the (church) prior, who was not mindful of its disappearance, as the space where the painting is kept has not been open for 3 months.”The oil painting is believed to be by the artist Giacomo Alibrandi and dates to the early 1500s. Authorities are now investigating how it was taken as there was no indication of a burglary, Melillo stated.”Whoever took the painting wanted it, and it plausible that it was a commissioned theft by an organisation working in the worldwide art trade,” he added.Leonardos Salvator Mundi has actually not been seen in public given that its record-breaking sale and some specialists question its credibility.

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Italian authorities has actually found a 500-year-old copy of Leonardo da Vincis Salvator Mundi in a Naples flat and returned it to a museum that had no idea it had been stolen.Officers stated late Monday they had actually arrested the 36-year-old owner of the flat on suspicion of receiving taken items, after the painting was discovered in his bedroom cupboard.Depicting Jesus Christ with his hand raised in a true blessing and holding a crystal orb, the painting belongs to the Doma Museum collection at the San Domenico Maggiore church in Naples.Leonardo da Vincis Salvator Mundi was cost a record $450m at auction in 2017. Picture: Tolga Akmen/AFP through Getty ImagesIt is a copy of Leonardos work that in 2017 became the most pricey painting ever sold, bring $450m (₤ 330m) at a Christies auction.But the museum has been shut for months due to coronavirus restrictions and nobody had actually reported it missing out on.
“The painting was found on Saturday thanks to a persistent and dazzling police operation,” stated Naples prosecutor Giovanni Melillo.”There was no problem on the matter and in truth we called the (church) prior, who was not knowledgeable about its disappearance, as the room where the painting is kept has not been open for three months.”The oil painting is thought to be by the artist Giacomo Alibrandi and dates to the early 1500s. Authorities are now examining how it was taken as there was no indication of a burglary, Melillo said.”Whoever took the painting desired it, and it possible that it was a commissioned theft by an organisation working in the international art trade,” he added.Leonardos Salvator Mundi has not been seen in public since its record-breaking sale and some specialists question its authenticity.

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