Stolen 500-year-old Leonardo da Vinci copy found in Naples flat
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Friday, July 19, 2024

Stolen 500-year-old Leonardo da Vinci copy found in Naples flat
It is a copy of Leonardo's famous work that in 2017 became the most expensive painting ever sold, fetching $450 million at a Christie's auction. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images/AFP.

ROME (AFP).- Italian police have found a 500-year-old copy of Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi in a Naples flat and returned it to a church that had no idea it had been stolen.

Officers said late Monday they had arrested the 36-year-old owner of the apartment on suspicion of receiving stolen goods, after the painting was found in his bedroom cupboard.

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

It is a copy of Leonardo's famous work that in 2017 became the most expensive painting ever sold, fetching $450 million at a Christie's auction.

But the collection has been without visitors for months due to coronavirus restrictions and nobody had reported it missing.

It was not immediately clear how the police came to discover the theft of the painting, but they said it was a "particularly complex operation".

"The painting was found on Saturday thanks to a brilliant and diligent police operation," said Naples prosecutor Giovanni Melillo.

"There was no complaint on the matter and in fact we contacted the (church) prior, who was not aware of its disappearance, as the room where the painting is kept has not been open for three months."

The oil painting is believed to be by artist Giacomo Alibrandi and dates to the early 1500s.

Commissioned theft
Having returned the painting to the church, police are now investigating how it was stolen in the first place, as there was no sign of a break-in, Melillo said.

"Whoever took the painting wanted it, and it is plausible that it was a commissioned theft by an organisation working in the international art trade," he added.

Video images released by police showed an empty wall inside a large niche where the artwork had been housed, in an alcove behind heavy wooden doors locked with a key.

The arrested man reportedly said he had bought the painting in a flea market.

San Domenico Maggiore, which has been the victim of thefts in the past, houses many important artworks. Some, including paintings by Caravaggio, Raphael and Titian, have been moved to museums in Naples.

Leonardo's original Salvator Mundi and its copy were shown together in Naples in 2015 during an exhibit organised for a visit by Pope Francis to the city.

Two years later, the painting attributed to Da Vinci was bought at auction for a record $450 million by an unknown buyer, making it the most expensive work ever sold at auction.

Christie's auction house later said that Abu Dhabi's department of culture had acquired the work and it would be shown at the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The painting has never been seen in public since and its current whereabouts are unknown.

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

January 21, 2021

Lucy Lacoste Gallery opens an exhibition of ceramics by British artist Ken Eastman

Who designed Jill Biden's Inauguration outfit?

NY LX Pavilion designed by OLI Architecture to house Richard Serra's London Cross

Roger Mandle, museum director who helped bring art to Qatar, dies at 79

Banksy's works come 'In Focus' as Heritage Auctions holds curated sale

Tom Friedman's 10-foot tall sculpture looking up displayed at Rockefeller Center

Stolen 500-year-old Leonardo da Vinci copy found in Naples flat

Almine Rech opens an exhibition of works by Marcus Jansen

Cuban artists showcased in Modern, Contemporary and Latin American Art online sale

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's directorship receives endowment from Marina Kellen French

Gladstone Gallery opens an exhibition of works by David Rappeneau

Tim Van Laere Gallery opens its first solo exhibition of Marcel Dzama's work

Exhibition of new work by Doug Aitken opens at Regen Projects

Heritage Auctions' January Comics & Comic Art event sets records and smashes expectations

Klaus von Nichtssagend exhibits a series of photographs by Barry Stone

Top British musicians hit out at Brexit impact on tours

The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU opens two dynamic spring exhibitions

Poet Amanda Gorman, age 22, hails democracy at Biden inaugural

A New Orleans Mardi Gras with a different sort of mask

New e-publication Americana Insights focuses on American Folk Art and Americana

Major new study celebrates the career and legacy of trailblazing artist and educator Luise Kaish

Tang Teaching Museum announces publication of 'Culture as Catalyst'

Shani Peters is CAPE's 2021 Artist-in-Residence

What's the Difference Between Litigation, Mediation and Arbitration?

Who Pays My Medical Bills while I Wait for an Insurance Settlement?

Holland Casino in Nederland - an example of a casino that uses design psychology to attract and engage players

What is the Best Type of Internet Connection?

3 Useful Hacks for Every Bathroom's Hopeless Mess

10 Bathroom Curtains That Will Give Your Restroom More Flair

Where to stay near Neuschwanstein Castle

Where to Conveniently Buy Flowers for Valentine's Day

Top 5 Expenditures to Manufacture a Wholesale Backpack Business

4 Tips For Choosing The Game To Play In A Casino

What Makes an Iconic Album Cover

Register sportsbook judi mix parlay bola

The benefits of SEO (search engine optimization)

Why do we use vector clipart and where to download it?

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful