Leonardo's iconic Vitruvian Man (1490) is normally shown for only a few weeks at a time every six years
An Italian heritage group is threatening to launch a last-minute legal challenge to try and block the loan of Leonardos Vitruvian Man from a Venetian museum to the Musée du Louvre in Paris.
The move would come just days after the French and Italian culture ministers Frank Reister and Dario Franceschini met in Paris to finalise an agreement for the loan of the famous drawing and six other works from Italy to France for the Louvres major Leonardo exhibition, which opens on 24 October and marks the 500th anniversary of the artists death.
Lidia Fersuoch, the director of the Venice branch of the heritage group Italia Nostra, is now warning she may file a motion with the Tribunale Amminstrativo Regionale, the administrative court of the Veneto region, in an attempt to block the loan of the artists celebrated drawing of human proportions, according to reports in the Italian press. She says that if the Vitruvian Man is displayed in Paris, it will then have to go into storage for a decade.
Because of its fragility, the Vitruvian Man cannot be exposed to light for extended periods. It is normally shown at the Gallerie dellAccademia, the Venetian museum which houses it, for only a few weeks at a time every six years. The work was already displayed from 17 April to 14 July this year as part of a Leonardo exhibition at the institution.
Fersuoch has the support of a former director of the Gallerie dellAccademia, Giovanna Nepi Scirè, who led the museum for a decade from 1978, according to the Fatto Quotidiano newspaper.
When Dario Franceschini first served as Italian culture minister from 2014 to 2018 he agreed to lend works by Leonardo, including the Vitruvian Man, to the Louvre for its blockbuster show.
The then director of the Gallerie dellAccademia, Paola Marini, raised concerns about sending the drawing abroad and the matter was referred to the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, one of Italys top restoration and conservation laboratories. Its specialists advised that sending the Vitruvian Man to the Louvre was not without risks but that, on balance, these risks were “acceptable”. However, it concluded that if the loan went ahead, the drawing would then have to go into storage for a decade, according to the Fatto Quotidiano.
After a new Italian government came into power in June 2018, Franceschinis successor, Alberto Bonisoli, backtracked over the LeRead More – Source