Venice court temporarily blocks da Vinci loan to Louvre

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This Tuesday April 14, 2015 photo made available Tuesday Oct. 8, 2019 shows Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” during an exhibition in Milan, Italy. An administrative court in Venice has temporarily suspended Tuesday Oct. 8, 2019 the loan of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” to the Louvre for an exhibition that is set to open later this month. (Matteo Bazzi/ANSA via AP)

MILAN (AP) — An administrative court in Venice decided Tuesday to temporarily suspend the loan of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” to the Louvre in Paris for an exhibition that is set to open later this month.

The move followed a request by the non-profit group Italia Nostra, which has been protesting the loan of the famed drawing by the Renaissance master from Venice’s Accademia Gallery.

A final decision is set for Oct. 16, just days before the exhibition marking the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death is set to open at the Louvre on Oct. 24.

Italia Nostra, which campaigns for the protection of Italy’s cultural treasures, argued that such a “precious and fragile” masterpiece should not leave Italy.

The Culture Ministry called the decision “incomprehensible.”

Culture Minister Dario Franceschini signed a memorandum in September securing the loan in exchange for a work by Raphael for an exhibition marking the 500th anniversary of his death next year in Rome.

“The Vitruvian Man,” Leonardo’s famed study of human proportions, is normally kept out of public view in climate-controlled conditions, but was exhibited at the Accademia Gallery from April through July as part of events marking the anniversary of his death.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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