Dallas Museum of Art Denied da Vinci Acquisition

  • "Salvator Mundi," a recently authenticated work by Leonardo da Vinci.

    "Salvator Mundi," a recently authenticated work by Leonardo da Vinci.

Officials from the Dallas Museum of Art have revealed that their efforts in fundraising tens of millions of dollars for a rediscovered work by Leonardo da Vinci were fruitless. The painting's owners have rejected the museum's bid for the work after weeks of negotiation.

The DMA began to solicit contributions for the acquistiion last summer. Donors came up with "tens of millions of dollars" for the purchase of the Renaissance master's 'Salvator Mundi ' or Saviour of the World’.

Said to be worth $200 million, the painting has been kept at the museum recently. The amount of the DMA's offer was not disclosed. Only about 15 works by da Vinci survive today.

Owned by a consortium of dealers, including New York-based old master expert Robert Simon, the painting was bought at auction in 2005.

It was first recorded in the collection of Charles I in 1649, but a century or so later the work seemed to have disappeared. In 1958, a painting with the same name, but greatly altered in appearance was sold from a private collection for £45.

A later owner decided to have it cleaned and that is when layers of grime and overpainting were carefully removed to reveal a lost treasure

DMA Director Maxwell Anderson said in a statement that it “was a privilege to be responsible for the safekeeping of this masterwork as we assembled commitments towards its purchase. The fortunate few who saw it in person will not soon forget its beauty, power and majesty.”



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