A new documentary is scheduled to be released in France this month that reveals the international political scandal caused by the sensation that the world's most expensive painting does not belong to great painter and master Leonardo da Vinci. According to the New York Post, experts at the Louvre Museum in Paris conducted a scientific analysis of the painting in 2019. As a result, it was discovered that the work of art "Salvador Mundi" is not Da Vinci's work. His participation in this work's writing is relatively insignificant, and the author of the painting is his student.

According to The Telegraph, the mysterious painting's authenticity has been the subject of heated debate since 2017, when bought by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman. He paid a record $450 million for the work of art. Interestingly, the previous owner of this painting, a New York art dealer, bought it in 2005 for just $1,175.

According to a report in the Art Newspaper, a new French documentary, "Savior for Sale," sheds light on the events of 2017 that led to the political tussle between Riyadh and Paris.

Сhecking a painting in Louvre

Negotiations to have "Salvator Mundi" displayed in the Louvre next to the Mona Lisa took place at a big French-Saudi summit back in April 2018.

The painting arrived in Paris from New York in June 2019, after which it remained in the Louvre for three months for appropriate inspections.

The artwork has analyzed in the Louvre's technical laboratory. According to the negotiations, the work was supposed to be the main asset of the Louvre's exhibition in October 2019. But on the eve of the major event, the painting was removed from the collection.

As noted by the chief curator in the department of paintings at the Louvre, Vincent Delhoeven, who participated in the "Salvator Mundi" inspection, the canvas went under several machines and was X-rayed. International experts took part in the analysis. A thorough examination of the painting resulted in the verdict: Leonardo da Vinci made only a negligible contribution to the artwork, and it was confirmed scientifically.

The Reason for Political Disagreement

After inspecting the painting, French officials notified its owner of the results of the scientific report. Nevertheless, Saudi Prince bin Salman set a condition -- to display "Salvator Mundi" next to the Mona Lisa in the Louvre in Paris as a work of art 100% created by Leonardo da Vinci. In essence, the Saudis asked them to conceal that the painting was not entirely by Da Vinci.

According to the documentary, a diplomatic tug-of-war ensued. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and then-Minister of Culture Frank Rister lobbied on behalf of Saudi Arabia, noting the significant deals Riyadh was signed with France. However, French President Emmanuel Macron decided that he would not accept Riyadh's conditions because the Louvre's authority and its importance in the world were at stake and could not be undermined.

In September 2019, the French authorities decided to waive the Saudi conditions, and "Salvator Mundi" did not show up for the October 2019 show.