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Leonardo masterpiece could make its way to Abu Dhabi

Louvre official says Belle Ferronniere 'not too fragile'

11 March, 16:50
Leonardo masterpiece could make its way to Abu Dhabi (ANSA) - Paris, March 11 - The director of the Louvre's painting department told ANSA on Tuesday that Leonardo Da Vinci's 'La Belle Ferronniere' was not too fragile to be loaned out. Denying recent assertions that the painting could not be moved due to excessive fragility, Vincent Pomarede said that "the structural conditions of the work enable its transport. It is therefore highly probable that it will be loaned out, and only if fragility were to surface during its restoration would it not be moved".

Heated debate had arisen recently surrounding a possible loan of the masterpiece to the future Louvre Abu Dhabi. The painting is due to leave the museum halls around April-May to be restored, and press leaks emerged last month on the names of works that might leave French museums on loan to the UAE for the opening of the new museum in December 2015. Among the works is Portrait of an Unknown Woman, better known as 'La Belle Ferronniere', painted by Da Vinci between 1490 and 1495. The loan has been called "risky" and "devoid of scientific interest". Pomarede instead countered that "the loan is not risky and fits into the new museum's scientific and cultural plans". The complete list will be released immediately after the opening of the show 'Louvre Abu Dhabi: Birth of a Museum' on May 2.

Louvre officials have long argued that another Leonardo masterpiece in its collection - The Mona Lisa - is too fragile to be moved, and therefore have refused loaning it to Italy for exhibition.

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