The painting sold for $ 450 million in 2017 (Karl Kurt / Getty)</p><div><p>A documentary showing soon in France revealed that<a href="https://www.alaraby.co.uk/%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%B1%D8%B3%D9%85-%D9%84%D9%88%D8%AD%D8%A9-%22%D8%B3%D9%84%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%B1-%D9%85%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%8A%22-%D9%81%D8%B9%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%8B%D8%9F-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%81%D9%86%D8%B4%D9%8A-%D8%A3%D9%85-%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AF%D9%87%D8%9F"> The most expensive painting in the world is Salvatore Mendy.</a> Which was bought for the account of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for $ 450 million, is most likely the work of Leonardo da Vinci's painter, not the Italian artist personally.
The film indicated that Paris had rejected the conditions set by Riyadh to display the painting on 2019 Leonardo Exhibition, At the Louvre.
Antoine Witkin, director of the documentary that will be shown April 13 on France 5, has investigated this painting, which was bought in poor condition by a New York art dealer in 2005 for $ 1,175, and it was restored in the United States.
A number of British experts confirmed that it was a da Vinci painting, then it was sold to a Russian financier who later decided to resell it, and then it was put up for sale in November 2017 at a contemporary art auction, and was presented as an original Leonardo da Vinci painting.
Although the Saudi authorities have never confirmed that Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the owner of “the last painting of Da Vinci,” crossed information indicated that he had bought it through a series of middlemen.
The Saudi Crown Prince aspires to establish museums in the Kingdom, especially in the historic Al-Ula site, as part of his endeavor to embody modernity and cultural openness within the Saudi royal family. According to the documentary, the acquisition of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting may, in the eyes of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, be the starting point for a prestigious art group that the kingdom does not yet possess.
At a time when experts began to question whether the work was partly carried out by Da Vinci’s assistants, French President Emmanuel Macron received the Saudi Crown Prince in April 2018. The documentary quoted a source in the French administration that the painting “Salvatore Mendy” (savior of the world) was part of The topics covered by the talks, according to news agency “Agence France-Presse” on Wednesday.
The Saudis asked France to verify whether the painting was of Da Vinci, as the Louvre Museum houses the C2RMF art-analysis laboratory. And the painting stayed there for three months.
The same source pointed out that the analysis showed that “Da Vinci only contributed to the painting,” pointing out that the Louvre informed the Saudis of this. The source stated that bin Salman wanted to loan the painting to the Louvre Museum, to be included in the large exhibition dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci at the end of 2019.
He added, “His request was very clear: to display the painting (Salvatore Mendi) alongside (Mona Lisa), and to present it as a painting by Da Vinci one hundred percent.” The source told his French presidents that “its offer with these Saudi conditions amounts to laundering work for an amount of 450 million dollars.”
The documentary indicated that the French Foreign and Culture Ministers, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Franck Riester, “were paying special attention to all projects aimed at improving the image of Saudi Arabia” in relation to cultural and tourism openness.
And he continued, “At the end of September, Macron decided the matter, as it was decided that bin Salman’s request would not be met.” At the last minute, the Saudi crown prince refused to lend the painting on conditions other than his own.
In response to a question by Agence France-Presse, the Louvre said on Wednesday that the film’s director, Antoine Witkin, “asked for a comment from him, but the museum did not want to answer his questions, because the painting was loaned to the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition”.
In 2018, Matthew Landros, art historian and academic researcher on Da Vinci’s works from the University of Oxford, said that the bulk of the painting “Salvatore Mendi” was executed by Da Vinci’s assistant, Bernardino Luini who is described as one of two assistants who were the most skilled in “Da Vinci’s Studio” (The other is Giovanni Antonio Poltravio). Landrus noted that 20 to 30 percent of the painting was done by Da Vinci with his own hands.
On the other hand, other experts insist that the distinctive painting belongs to Da Vinci, including Martin Kemp, the curator of Italian paintings at the National Gallery in London.
It is noteworthy that the American “Wall Street Journal” mentioned a previous report in which it revealed that Prince Badr bin Abdullah He is Mohammed bin Salman’s broker in purchasing the painting. And after Broad public debate Excited by the purchase of the painting with $ 450 million in Saudi Arabia in 2017, the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi explained that the “Department of Culture and Tourism” in Abu Dhabi acquired the painting and awarded Badr bin Abdullah Al Saud Permission to purchase it on its behalf.
And in 2018, she confirmed identical information to “Al-Araby Al-Jadeed” The validity of the report published by the “Daily Mail” British, about Years ago, Qatar rejected an offer to buy the painting For $ 80 million.