SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL – THE LOST LEONARDO

Rating: G
Length: 95 mins

A real-life art thriller involving a painting purportedly by Leonardo da Vinci, million-dollar deals and experts at loggerheads. A forgotten masterwork or an artworld powerplay?

In 2005, Salvator Mundi was labelled as “after Leonardo” and sold at auction for less than US$10,000. The painting of Jesus was in poor condition so was sent to a top NY restorer, who declared it a lost Leonardo. So begins “the most improbable story that has ever happened in the art world.” Despite the UK’s National Gallery authenticating the artwork, no museum or gallery would buy it, until a Swiss businessman and Russian oligarch step into the frame. 2017, it’s back on the market, eventually selling for a world record-breaking US$450 million. In this ripping crowd-pleaser, Andreas Koefoed (Ballroom Dancer, SFF 2012) dramatically reveals how various parties – the wealthy and the powerful – put dollars and prestige first, and truth a poor second.