Tag Archives: FRANCE

How the most expensive painting in history caused a scandal in the art market

In France, a documentary film about the film “The Savior of the World” by Leonardo da Vinci is being released. Its authors promise to shed light on the political machinations associated with the most expensive painting in the world.

A new feature-length documentary, which will premiere on France 5 on April 13, claims that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman forced the Louvre to lie about the authenticity of a painting he bought to avoid public humiliation, as he spent $450 million on a fake.

French director Antoine Witkin’s film “The Saviour for Sale” is an investigation into how a controversial portrait of Jesus Christ, dubbed the “male Mona Lisa,” was held hostage by backroom deals between France and Saudi Arabia.

The painting “Savior of the World” entered world art history in 2017 when about a thousand collectors, dealers, and spectators gathered in the main auction hall of Rockefeller Center in New York, and the oldest auction house Christie’s sold the painting for a record $450 million, making it the most expensive in the world.

The huge public interest — 120,000 art fans followed the auction through a live Facebook feed-and the incredibly high final bid reflected the extreme rarity of Leonardo da Vinci’s original works. Despite the huge fame and influence of the Italian master, there are currently less than 20 paintings that are believed to have been painted by him, and all of them are part of museum collections. Christie’s called the painting “the greatest artistic discovery of the last 100 years.”

The first doubts about the authenticity of the “Savior of the World” arose when the Louvre Abu Dhabi (an ambitious cultural project designed by Jean Nouvel and received from the great French museum the right to share the name “Louvre” with it for 30 years. — Forbes) suddenly changed his mind to exhibit the painting in September 2018. It has not been shown publicly since.

G7 urged Russia to stop “provocations”

The G7 countries call on Russia to stop provocations and immediately reduce tensions, in accordance with international obligations.

The foreign ministers of the G7 countries, as well as the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrel, released a joint statement on Monday, April 12, in which they called on Russia to stop “provocations” near the border with Ukraine.

“These large-scale military movements carried out without prior notice, pose a threat and destabilize the situation. We call on Russia to stop provocations and immediately reduce tensions, in accordance with international obligations,” the G7 said in a statement issued by the UK, which chairs the group.

The document also notes that the G7 and the EU are “very concerned about the large-scale strengthening of Russian forces” near the borders with Ukraine and in Crimea.

The Group of Seven countries said they supported ” Ukraine’s approach based on restraint.”

They reiterated that they support the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as the efforts of France and Germany to work in the “Normandy format” to achieve the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Also today, the Head of the US State Department and the NATO Secretary-General discussed the build-up of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine.

The U.S. Confirms Israeli Involvement in Attack on Iran Nuclear Site

Israel is behind the fire at the centrifuge production facility for uranium enrichment in Natanz, Iran. This is the assertion made by a source in The New York Times in an electronic version of the paper published Sunday, June 5.

“A Middle Eastern intelligence official with knowledge of what happened said Israel was responsible for the attack on the Natanz nuclear facility, a powerful explosive device was used,” the paper said.

The newspaper does not say which intelligence service is being referred to.

A member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC, an elite force in the Iranian military) has allegedly confirmed to the press that an explosive device went off at the Natanz site on July 2.

However, the newspaper explains that it is unable to verify the information about Israel’s involvement in the incident. It is also not known how the device arrived at the site. Israeli officials on Sunday did not give a clear answer to the question of whether the country had organized the sabotage in Iran, the article notes.

It is specified that the incident occurred last week.

Earlier, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Behrouz Kamalvandi said there had been no casualties as a result of the incident, but there had been considerable material damage.

The United States Special Envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, said in an interview with Channel 13 on July 1 that the US authorities were considering the possibility of using military force against Iran if it would be necessary to prevent the country from getting nuclear weapons.

On May 27, U.S. State Department chief Mike Pompeo said U.S. authorities gave Iran two months to complete its nuclear program projects, after which they would be subject to sanctions.

In 2015, Iran, the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany signed a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The document implies the lifting of sanctions against Tehran in exchange for an end to nuclear development.

In 2018, the U.S. side withdrew from the treaty, reinstated some sanctions against Iran, and imposed new ones. A year later, President of the Islamic Republic Hassan Rouhani announced that Tehran was suspending some of its obligations under the nuclear deal.

In France, an investigation was launched because of Islamophobic inscriptions on the wall of a mosque

In France, an investigation was launched because of the appearance of Islamophobic inscriptions on the walls of the Islamic cultural center in Rennes, the Minister of the Interior went to the place.

This is reported by BFM TV.

The cultural center, which unknown people painted with offensive inscriptions, is also a place of prayer for local Muslims.

The worshippers noticed the inscriptions around 6 am when they came for morning prayers. Among them — “No Islamization”, “Long live the King”, “The Prophet Mohammed is a pedophile”, “The Crusades will resume”, “France forever” and others.

“We were shocked by such insults. It’s cruel. Our Muslim community is very upset, “ said Mohammed Zaidouni, President of the Regional Council of Muslims. He added that obviously someone is trying to incite mutual hostility, and against the background of these provocations, it is important to preserve unity and “save the country”.

The mayor of Rennes, Nathalie Appert, said that such acts “have no place in France and Rennes.”

“I express my full support to the residents of the city and especially to the believers who are shocked by these unworthy acts,” she said.

“The numerous anti-Muslim inscriptions on the walls of the Avicenna Mosque in Rennes are unacceptable. I express my full solidarity with the Muslims of our country, “ Interior Minister Geral Darmanin responded, saying that he would go to the site in the afternoon.

The city prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into the case. Hooligans face up to 30,000 euros in fines or up to 4 years in prison.

Earlier this week, on the night of April 8-9, unknown persons set fire to the doors of a mosque in Nantes. On April 9, a 24-year-old young man with neo-Nazi views was detained in Mana, also in the west of the country, for threatening to attack a local mosque.

In France, the number of coronavirus infections has exceeded five million

In France, 43 thousand people were infected with the coronavirus during the day, the total number of cases exceeded five million. This is reported by the Ministry of Health of the country.

“A total of 5,023,785 people have been infected with the coronavirus in France since March last year,” the report said.

It is noted that on Thursday, April 8, 85 thousand cases were detected in the country, which was a record for six months. Experts stressed that the number of patients in hospitals is growing — 30 thousand. Currently, there are 5,8 thousand people in intensive care units.

Over the past day, 207 Frenchmen also died, since the beginning of the pandemic — 98 thousand people. To date, 10.5 million people have been vaccinated in the country, 3.6 million of them have already received a second dose.

In the world, the coronavirus was confirmed in 747 thousand people in a day. The number of deaths also increased by 13.5 thousand. Thus, since the beginning of the pandemic, 134.3 million people have been infected and 2.9 million patients have died.