Leonardo masterpiece could make its way to Abu Dhabi
Louvre official says Belle Ferronniere 'not too fragile'11 March, 16:50
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.