The cultural war franco-Italian will not take place. This is what seem to induce the latest déclarati0ons of the minister of Culture of the alps. At the centre of tensions, the exchange of works between France and Italy on the occasion of the 500 years of the death of Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, in 2019 and 2020. The Italian minister Alberto Bonisoli believes that he should “be as fair as possible, with an equal distribution, so that neither side feels aggrieved”, he said on Thursday in Rome in front of the foreign press.

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“When I arrived at the head of the department, I was made aware of an agreement with the French government to facilitate this type of collaboration,” said Alberto Bonisoli, a member of the Movement 5 Stars, which form with the League, a far-right party, the coalition in power in Italy since June 2018. This agreement, Lucia Borgonzoni, under-secretary of State at the ministry of Culture, has been called into question in November 2018. The controversy relates to the loan from Italy to the France of his paintings of Leonardo da Vinci for a major exhibition scheduled at the Louvre in the fall of 2019.

“Leonardo is Italian, it is only death in France, has tempêté Lucia Borgonzoni. The loan of these paintings to the Louvre would place Italy at the margin of a major cultural event”. Arousing the misunderstanding in France: the date of the retrospective paris was arrested October 24, 2019 February 24, 2020, either voluntarily several months after the anniversary date of the fifth centenary of Vinci, the 2nd of may. And of interest to the specialists on this question of nationality.

In consideration of the Italian paintings, France has promised to travel to Rome, at the Museum of the Quirinal, a “number” of its Raphael in 2020, the year of the 500th anniversary of the death of that other great master of the Renaissance. “Most of the works of Raphael are already in Italy,” has found fault Lucia Borgonzoni.

“What the agreements mean in practice has not been put in black and white,” says Alberto Bonisoli, the minister of Culture, to sooth the tensions. “We have excellent relations with France, but, as in all families, there can be discussions and improvements,” he concludes, leaving the door open to changes in the habitual practices between the two countries. Franck Riester will be able to discuss with his counterpart during his visit to Milan, on the 28th of February next.

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Another difficulty for the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci in the Louvre, the Salvator Mundi , table the most expensive ever purchased by the crown prince of saudi Arabia, could not make not more part of the exhibition. This should, however, be the case. But the valuable work remains for the moment hidden. The suspicions which weigh on its authenticity could be the cause.