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News: Louvre Makes Plea for Work of Art

Three GracesThe Louvre is home to some of the world’s greatest works of art, from the Venus de Milo to the Mona Lisa. With so many amazing works of art under one roof, it is a wonder why one small work would matter so much to the renowned Parisian institution. And yet, it does…
In 1531, Lucas Cranach the Elder painted The Three Graces and since then, it has never been shown in public. It’s current French owners have had the work since 1932 and have recently put it up for sale. The painting’s current location and possible exportation to another country has stirred the Louvre into action. The work is a significant one in Art History and though it is in a private collection and barely larger than a sheet of paper, is often referenced and cited. The Louvre’s president, Henri Loyrette, said the painting could become a museum icon. “It’s a work that is amusing, troubling and mysterious, as well as very sensual at the same time,” he said.
Since the work currently resides in France, the Louvre is making a play to save this “national treasure” by asking the public for donations to make-up for the €1 million it has fallen short of to pay its asking price of €4m on a new website, www.troisgraces.fr. This will be the first time in the museum’s 217 year history that it has asked the public for support since it is already heavily funded by pubic money from the government. All of the money must be in the museum’s coiffers by January 31st if they wish to possess the painting, otherwise it will go to the highest bidder. Perhaps Germany would like a crack at buying the work, since Lucas Cranach the Elder was in fact not French but German.

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