SHARE
COPY LINK

ART

‘Leonardo da Vinci’ art seized from Swiss bank

A hugely valuable painting believed to be the work of Leonardo da Vinci has been seized from a Swiss bank in the southern canton of Ticino on the orders of Italian police who suspect it was moved out of Italy illegally.

'Leonardo da Vinci' art seized from Swiss bank
Detail of portrait of Isabella d'Este. Photo: AFP

Italian prosecutors said Tuesday that the painting, a portrait of Renaissance noblewoman Isabella d'Este, had been seized from a vault in Lugano, near the Italian border.
   
At the time of its seizure on Monday, negotiations were under way to sell the painting — which reportedly belongs to a wealthy Italian family based in Switzerland — for €120 million (over $135 million), the prosecutors said in a statement.

The painting was found to be in Switzerland in 2013 after Italian authorities were alerted that a local lawyer had been given a mandate to sell it for a minimum of 95 million euros.

A leading Italian da Vinci expert, Carlo Pedretti, has said he believes the work to be the completed oil version of the Mona Lisa artist's sketch of d'Este, which now hangs in the Louvre in Paris.
   
Other experts have cast doubt on whether the painting is 100 percent the work of Leonardo, suggesting it could have simply been done in his style on the basis of the Louvre sketch, or started by the master and completed at a later date by one or more of his students.
   
Italy holds one of the world's largest concentrations of artistic heritage and is often the target of art traffickers.
   
Italian police in January seized over 5,000 ancient artefacts in a record €45-million haul after dismantling a Swiss-Italian trafficking ring.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

ART

Art project shows the scope of Switzerland’s extraordinary glacier loss

An art project has shed light on the sheer scope of Switzerland’s glacier loss in recent years due to climate change.

Art project shows the scope of Switzerland’s extraordinary glacier loss
Photo: Studio Oefner/ETH Zurich

The project looks to “visualise 140 years of glacial retreat through an interactive network”. 

READ: Swiss glaciers shrink ten percent in five years 

The project is led by Swiss artist Fabian Oefner, who has reproduced the receding glaciers using neon lines which contrast with images of the glaciers as they currently stand. 

In a collaboration with with Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and Google mapped the shrinking glaciers over time. 

READ: Swiss 'glacier initiative' collects 120,000 signatures 

“Im interested in the concept of time and how change shapes the way we see reality”, Oefner says. 

Using drones equipped with LEDs, Oefner used real representations of glacial loss as the frame for the project. 

“I looked at maps where you could see the glacier in its current state and dozens of lines drawn on the map in front of it. Each of these lines represented where the glacier was in the past few decades,” Oefner said. 

“I wanted to find a way to transport the scientific data and bring it into reality”. 

 

SHOW COMMENTS