Friday, January 22, 2021

Police Recover 500-Year-Old Stolen Copy Of World’s Most Expensive Painting

 A 500-year-old copy of Lionardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi has been recovered from a flat in Naples, Italy and returned to a museum that had no idea it had been stolen.


According to the police statement, the artwork was discovered at an apartment during a search in the Italian city. Police Chief Alfredo Fabbrocini said the 36-year-old apartment owner was detained after offering a dubious explanation that he had “casually” bought the painting of Jesus at a flea market in the southern Italy city.

Depicting Jesus Christ with his hand raised in a blessing and holding a crystal orb, the painting is part of the Doma Museum collection at the San Domenico Maggiore church in Naples.

The original became the most expensive painting ever sold in 2017 after fetching $450m (£330m) at a Christie’s auction. It is widely thought that the record-breaking bid was made on behalf of Saudi Arabi's crown prince Mohammed bin salman.

The copy was likely painted by one of the Renaissance master’s students as numerous copies of the work were made during the artist’s lifetime by his students and assistants, CNN reported.

Because the museum had been shut for months due to the coronavirus, no one had noticed or reported it.

Police are now investigating how it was stolen as there was no sign of a break-in, Melillo said.

It is believed that the painting was created in Rome before being brought to Naples by Giovanni Antonio Muscettola, an envoy and advisor to the Holy Roman Emperor, Charle

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