Italian court suspends loan of famous Leonardo drawing to France



ROME (dpa)- A high-profile Franco-Italian deal for the loan of Leonardo da Vinci's most famous drawing to Paris' Louvre museum was blocked Tuesday by an Italian court, pending a ruling on an appeal by a heritage group.
According to the Italia Nostra association, Leonardo's "Vitruvian Man" is too fragile to be moved from its current location in Venice.




The drawing is supposed to go on display for a Louvre exhibition marking the 500th anniversary of Leonardo's death.
The Regional Administrative Court of Veneto, the region comprising Venice, suspended the loan agreement and brought forward a ruling on Italia Nostra's appeal from October 24 to October 16, the ANSA news agency reported.
The Louvre's Leonardo exhibition is scheduled to start on October 24.
The court went further, as it suspended all the provisions of a Franco-Italian agreement signed two weeks ago, which foresaw the loan of six other Leonardo artworks from Italy to France, and French loans to Italy of five works by Raphael.
In a statement, the Italian culture ministry called the court's decision "completely incomprehensible" and expressed confidence that the validity of the arrangements would be upheld in the October 16 hearing.
The "Vitruvian Man," representing a male figure shown in different poses within a circle, is a Renaissance masterpiece. It is only shown to the public very rarely, as it needs to be stored in a carefully controlled microclimate and kept away from natural light.
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Wednesday, October 9th 2019
dpa
           


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