Just days after the Netherlands announced it had the financing ready to repatriate two full-length portraits by Rembrandt van Rijn, France countered with a bid for just one of the pair.
France's Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin said the Bank of France would offer 80 million euros ($89 million) to acquire one of the 17th-century paintings depicting a Dutch couple. The bank would donate the work to the Louvre.
“The bid was submitted to the owners,” Pellerin said, according to a statement published last week on the ministry’s website.
The paintings were commissioned to mark the couple's wedding and have been owned by the Rothschild family in France since the 19th century.
On Sept. 21, the Rijksmuseum and the Dutch government revealed that they planned to jointly purchase the pair for 160 million euros.