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The Ecce Homo by Caravaggio before and after restoration. COLNAGHI
Briton living in Spain steps in with 36m euros to keep prized artwork on public display
Art and culture

Briton living in Spain steps in with 36m euros to keep prized artwork on public display

It was about to be auctioned in Madrid three years ago with a starting price of 1,500 euros before being spotted as a masterpiece

Miguel Lorenci

Madrid

Friday, 10 May 2024, 14:16

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A British collector living in Spain is the new owner of Caravaggio's Eccehomo, which was about to be auctioned in Madrid three years ago with a starting price of 1,500 euros before being spotted as a masterpiece. Now restored, the buyer is understood to have paid 36m euros.

Declared a BIC asset of cultural interest by the regional government of Madrid and therefore inexportable to another country, the city's famous Prado Museum and the Colnaghi gallery announced on Monday both the sale of the painting and the temporary loan to the Prado of Caravaggio's masterpiece, which will be presented restored to the media on 27 May.

No official information has been provided about the new owner of the valuable painting, but newspaper ABC reported that it is a British resident in Spain and that he paid 36 million euros for the painting, which has now been temporarily loaned to the Prado, as it cannot leave Spain due to its protection. It has been specified that it will be on temporary loan - for nine months - to the Prado, where it will remain on display.

Painted between 1605 and 1609 by the brilliant Italian artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610), the work was part of the private collection of Philip IV of Spain. It is one of about 60 known works by Caravaggio that exist in the world, "which makes it of extraordinary value", according to the Prado.

The sellers were the family of Spanish liberal politician Evaristo Pérez de Castro.

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