Nov 16, 2017

Da Vinci sells for record $450 million, and it might not be authentic

Bidding representatives react after Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" sold for $400 million at Christie's. Photo: Julie Jacobson / AP

Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," a painting thought to have been lost in the 1600s, smashed a world auction record by selling for $450,312,500 at Christie's, the auction house. That's all the more remarkable, because there has been speculation the painting may not actually be a Leonardo.

  • The NY Times sets the scene: "19 minutes of dueling, with four bidders on the telephone and one in the room... There were gasps throughout the sale, as the bids climbed by 10's up to $225 million, then by 5's up to $260 million, then by 2's."
  • Leonardo specialist Jacques Franck to the NYT: "The composition doesn't come from Leonardo. He preferred twisted movement. It's a good studio work with a little Leonardo at best, and it's very damaged."
  • Vulture's Jerry Saltz sums up the argument that it's "no Leonardo:" It's "absolutely dead," with a "varnished" and "repainted" surface. Saltz argues that there are only 15-20 existing paintings from da Vinci, and "not a single one of them pictures a person straight on like this one," among other points.

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Cuomo: Engaging in politics during coronavirus crisis is "anti-American"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a Monday press briefing that he won't get into a political tussle with President Trump — calling it "counterproductive" and "anti-American" — as his state deals with the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.

The backdrop: Trump said during an appearance on "Fox & Friends" earlier Monday that Cuomo has received high polling numbers during the outbreak because New York has received federal aid.

Maryland and Virginia issue coronavirus stay-at-home orders

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued stay-at-home orders on Monday, with exceptions for residents engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions.

The big picture: The states are the latest to announce policies to enforce social distancing, which have affected almost 250 million Americans. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide had been asked to stay home as of last week.

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