A Bil­lion­aire, an In­sider, And a Lost Leonardo

Art Mar­ket ▶ A Euro­pean art scan­dal comes to the U.S. ▶ Fraud? Or “a com­mer­cial dis­pute over paint­ings”?

Bloomberg Businessweek (North America) - - Markets / Finance -

As a re­storer care­fully re­moved over­paint­ing and yel­lowed var­nish on the paint­ing of Christ, a lost mas­ter­piece was re­vealed: the Mona Lisa mouth, the sub­tle brush­work, the gos­samer glaze. The world learned in 2011 that the paint­ing was the work of Leonardo da Vinci. Sal­va­tor Mundi later sold for $127.5 mil­lion, in a trans­ac­tion that’s be­come part of one of the big­gest art scan­dals in decades.

The dealer Yves Bou­vier, one of the art world’s con­sum­mate in­sid­ers, has for months been bat­tling with the Leonardo’s buyer, Dmitry Ry­bolovlev. The Rus­sian bil­lion­aire spent, by his own count, more than $2 bil­lion on al­most 40 works pur­chased through Bou­vier over

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