20.Jan .2022 00:15

Roman Villa With Caravaggio’s Only Ceiling Painting Fails To Sell At Auction

Roman Villa With Caravaggio’s Only Ceiling Painting Fails To Sell At Auction
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The starting bid on a Roman villa with the world’s only Caravaggio ceiling painting, which was expected to fetch $533 million at auction, has been slashed after the property failed to sell Tuesday.
Villa Aurora did not receive any bids during an auction held on Italy’s Ministry of Justice online portal, which sells properties that have been disputed in court.
Another auction will be held in April, with the minimum bid accepted slashed by about 20%, from almost $400 million to about $320 million.
If it goes for more than $320 million, it could approach the record for the most expensive home sold, a $361 million estate in Hong Kong.
$360 million. That’s how much the Caravaggio mural alone is worth, according to Alessandro Zuccari, a history professor at Rome’s Sapienza University who was hired by an Italian court to appraise the property. Caravaggio paintings are rare—less than 90 are known to still exist—and rarely come up for sale. 
Villa Aurora, located on 2 acres in the heart of Rome, is a key part of the inheritance battle between Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi and the three sons of her late husband, Prince Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi, whose family bought the property roughly four centuries ago. The princess, a Texan formerly known as Rita Jenrette, told Forbes she would like to stay in the home, but resigned herself to selling it after years of legal battles with her stepsons since her husband died in 2018.
He wanted to keep the property in the family, he told the New York Times in 2010. Half of the sale’s proceeds will go to her, while the other half will go to her late husband’s three sons from a previous marriage.