People take pictures with mobile phone at an oil painting by Atelier Leonardo da Vinci's " Salvator Mundi" (Version Ganay), during the opening of the exhibition " Leonardo da Vinci ", on October 22, 2019 at the Louvre museum in Paris. Five hundred years a Photograph:( AFP )
A stolen copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s 500-year-old Salvator Mundi was found by police in a Naples flat
A stolen copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s 500-year-old Salvator Mundi was found by police in a Naples flat. Authorities have returned the painting to a museum which had no idea it had gone missing.
Late on Monday, officers said that they had arrested the owner of the apartment on suspicion of hoarding stolen goods. The painting was found by police in his bedroom cupboard.
The painting shows Jesus Christ with his raised offering a blessing. At the same time, he is also holding a crystal orb.
The museum is part of the Doma Museum collection at the San Domenico Maggiore church in the city of Naples.
In 2017, the painting became the most expensive to be ever sold, raking in over $450 million at an auction. The one found by police is a copy.
The museum had no idea the painting was missing, and had been shut for months owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nobody had reported it missing.
"The painting was found on Saturday thanks to a brilliant and diligent police operation”, Naples prosecutor Giovanni Melillo said.
"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”, Melillo added.
The copy is believed to be made by Giacomo Alibrandi, dating back to the early 1500s.
Now, the police are trying to understand how the painting was stolen, as no signs of breaking in were spotted at the museum.
(With inputs from AFP)