December 12, 2012

Mona Lisa is worth a Billion dollars

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Leonardo da Vinci is one of my passions. Yes: a man, who lived half a millenium ago, can be a PASSION for someone. I visited a show about Leonardo at The Venetian in Las Vegas. It was disappointing… Sorry for my American friends, but when it comes to Leonardo, the recent show that was opened in Milan can’t be matched by anybody else.

Leonardo’s most famous painting is undoubtedly the Mona Lisa (or Monna Lisa, or Gioconda, in Italian language). See below. Don’t you like it?

Well, this painting is worth a Billion dollars now. Yes, Billion with a B. According to Wikipedia, in 1962-1963, the painting was assessed, for insurance purposes, at a value of 100 Million dollars. Adjusted for inflation, it equates to 765 Million dollars in 2012. Add the fact that “La Gioconda” (as we like to call it in Italy) has been recently featured in big hit movies, such as the Da Vinci code, you might easily raise that number to a square Billion. In fact, the value of the painting didn’t simply increase with the inflation, but it kept growing faster than ever. Everybody knows it today, and rich people collect Leonardo’s works.

Therefore, the list of most expensive paintings is wrong, and Mona Lisa should be at number one. “The card players” by Paul Cézanne should be second, at 267 Million dollars.

Last, but not least, I believe that Leonardo is a yet unmatched genius in our entire human history. If you don’t believe me, watch ”The secret lives of paintings”, by Maurizio Seracini, on TED:

I greatly admire Maurizio’s work, and hope that he can delight us with more talks like this in the future.