12-29-2016, 11:16 AM
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Poland Buys Art Collection Worth Billions
Poland’s culture ministry has signed a deal to buy the Princes Czartoryski Foundation’s art collection, which includes Leonardo da Vinci’s "Lady with an Ermine".
While the price has been kept under wraps, media reports suggest the collection is worth PLN 10 billion (EUR 2.2 billion), but was allegedly sold to the culture ministry for under PLN 500 million (EUR 113 million).
Recent media reports have said the deal was signed with a new board of the foundation, assembled after the former board resigned earlier in the week amid concerns.
Local media claimed the culture ministry would pay founder Adam Karol Czartoryski directly, rather than through the foundation.
As well as the da Vinci painting, the culture ministry bought some 86,000 pieces, 250,000 books, manuscripts and prints, as well as the buildings which hold the collection.
"Lady with an Ermine", the pride and joy of the Czartoryski Collection, is one of Leonardo da Vinci’s twenty extant works and one of his four female portraits.
It depicts Cecilia Gallerani, a young lady who entered the Milanese court around 1490 and became a mistress of the Duke Ludovico Sforza and the mother of his son.
It was the Duke who commissioned Leonardo to paint the portrait.
Meanwhile, the culture ministry on Thursday purchased the former Cracovia hotel in Kraków for PLN 29 million (EUR 6.5 million).
The building is to be the new branch of the National Museum in Kraków.