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Louvre Museum asks for donations to buy painting

lourveThe price tag placed on a Renaissance masterpiece by its private owners is just too high for the Louvre Museum’s budget.  The museum’s president, Henri Loyrette, says the painting is a national treasure that should not be allowed to leave France, but so far the appeal for funds has raised only €3m, and the asking price is €4m.  The Louvre is asking for art-lovers to pony up the €1m shortage, and “the world’s most visited art museum” is getting some flak about it, since most of its operations are funded by public money, i.e. taxes.

Le Trois Graces was painted by Lucas Cranach the Elder in 1531, and has never been exhibited to the public.  Its present owners have had it for almost 80 years, and apparently they are firm on the price.  The painting, three nude women on a black background, is only about the size of a sheet of A4 paper, or 24cm by 37cm, but is described by Mr. Loyrette as “amusing, troubling, mysterious, and yet with a great sensuality”.

The museum has launched a website where visitors can view the painting, and hopefully make a contribution, but they only have until January 31st to do so if Les Trois Graces is to become the property of the Louvre and remain in France for posterity.

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