"The auction of the century", thus titled this week the Italian press referring to the bid for the monumental Casino de la Aurora and an exceptional mural of Caravaggio.But, when the day arrived, the bidders for these jewels of art and architecture left the empty chairs, which caused a desert panorama and a sinsabor.
On Tuesday this auction would take place, whose announcement unleashed strong protests in the world of Italian culture that demanded that the State intervene.
Two jewels at stake
For sale was a fresco of this painting teacher, which is in the imposing palace in Rome of 2.800 square meters, distributed on six floors with a sumptuous garden, located in the heart of Rome, a few steps from the famous Via Veneto and Villa Borghese, one of the most elegant sectors of the capital.
This country residence of one of the richest and most powerful aristocratic families of Italy also retains fresh from Guercino (1591-1666), a renowned Baroque painter of Bologna, as well as ancient statues.
It is estimated that also known as Villa Ludovisi, a true jewel of the Roman Baroque, has a value of 471 million euros (537 million dollars), which represents a quarter of the annual budget of the Italian Ministry of Culture.
A postponed appointment
For this appointment with art and architecture, they were invited billionaires from around the world, and although this list has remained secret, it was speculated that among the possible buyers of these two treasures were Bill Gates and the Sultan of Brunéi, which, whichAn auction with drums and dishes predicted.
However, despite being one of the most anticipated and controversial bids, expectations went to the ground when, on the day of the meeting with the buyers, they declared the totally deserted day.
"No one participated in the auction," said Camilo Verde, who also said that the next appointment will take place on April 7 and will start from a reduced value at about 20%.
The estimation of the value of the Palace of Rome, which was quoted at 537 million dollars, is no longer the same, as it dropped to 376 million euros for the next auction.Even so, if the residence is sold at a price close to the one set as the beginning by the auction, it would be one of the sales of publicly registered real estate more expensive in history.
End to the family dispute
The auction was decided by a court in Rome to end the disputes between the heirs of Prince Niccolo Ludovisi Boncompagni, who died in 2018 at 77 years.
The family confrontation between the third wife of the Prince, Rita Jenrette Boncompagni Ludovisi, an actress, model and 72 -year -old American journalist who posed for Playboy, and the children born of the first marriage, forced the judges to auction the village, becauseNone have been able to meet the mortgage due to high maintenance expenses.
A petition released by the Change page.Org, entitled "Sos The culture with discount is sold", has raised 35 thousand signatures to ask that the State intervene.
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The signatories ask that Italy exercise their purchase right, since, according to experts, Caravaggio's fresco.
According to Italian media, the Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, has had to take action on the matter.
According to Italian law, the government can exercise its right only after it has been effectively acquired by an individual, within a period of 60 days of the conclusion of the sale and offering the same purchase price.
Caravaggio's work (Michelangelo Merisi, 1571-1610), considered the master of the chiaroscuro, dating from 1597, is located on the first floor of the residence and represents Jupiter, Pluto and Neptune in the middle of a land balloon surrounded by the signs of the zodiac.
"It is probably one of his first works and is very interesting, because he deals with a mythological theme, since Caravaggio almost exclusively painted religious works," said art historian Claudio Strinati in an interview with AFP.
"It is a beautiful, important building, with beautiful paintings, it should be public property and house a museum, in addition to the cultural center," said Strinati.
Invaluable piece of a genius
As art experts comment, this piece is invaluable and perhaps a key canvas in the history of the painter, who was characterized by being of a revolutionary nature, genius of painting, frantic and defender of Baroque style.
His style influenced the art of a later generation, such as Velásquez's with "bad streets", even these days in several artists.
In his youth he left his comfort zone to move to Rome, where at the time of counter -reform the city welcomed its theatrical style.Thus he could open up to the Protestant sobriety of the city, with his religious painting.
At first, his paintings were criticized and caused a stir in the community for representing the prophets and saints as real beings, even as vagrants and dresses with contemporary clothes.
Thanks to this controversy that caused in the Italian community is that Caravaggio's works began to be recognized and more quoted by collectors;In addition, he unleashed a new style: extreme naturalism, which became a trend.