An Italian court has stopped the planned loan of the famous drawing "The Vitruvian Man" by Leonardo da Vinci for an exhibition at the Louvre in Paris. (Read here an article on the difficult planning of the show.) As the news agency Ansa reported on Tuesday, the Administrative Court of the Veneto region responded to a temporary injunction to a lawsuit of the Italian traditional club Italia Nostra (Our Italy). The exhibition in Paris is scheduled to open on October 24th. The Italian Ministry of Culture described the decision in a first reaction as "completely incomprehensible."
The club had argued that such important cultural assets should not go out of the country. "The Vitruvian Man" is one of Leonardo's most famous works, the anniversary of his death in 2019 marking his 500th anniversary. The drawing shows a man with outstretched arms and legs in two superimposed positions. The name derives from the ancient architect Vitruvius (1st century BC) and his Proportion doctrine. The work is in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Venice, but is rarely shown there.
The agreement with France was one of the first official acts of the new Italian government of five-star movement and Social Democrats. The Italian Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, signed a memorandum with his French counterpart Franck Riester in September in Paris, which also includes the loan of works by the Renaissance painter Raphael (1483-1520) for an exhibition in Rome on the 500th anniversary of his death next year. Also this memorandum suspended the court according to Ansa in parts.
The ministry said that the main hearing on 16 October would prove that the whole process was clear and transparent.