Lady with an Ermine painting not to be lent to Louvre

On Monday, Poland’s Culture Minister Piotr Gliński said that lending the Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci is a great threat to the painting.

On Friday, responding to a letter from the director of the Louvre Museum, Minister Gliński wrote that the request to borrow the painting Lady with an Ermine may be considered only if the Louvre agrees to lend Mona Lisa.

As some indicated, the Louvre does not lend its most famous painting and therefore assessed Poland’s Culture Minister’s words as arrogant.

On Monday, Mr Gliński defended his statement, saying that he had used them in an anecdotic, humorous way.

“If there is to be an exchange of masterpieces, let there be a world-class exchange,” Mr Gliński said.

“Mona Lisa does not leave the Louvre, therefore, this answer makes clear that we Poles cannot, as it happened during the previous government, put to such risk what is perhaps the most valuable painting in the world,” the Culture Minister said.

In response to a comment that the paintings should be presented together during the ceremonies of the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, Minister Gliński responded “we would be very happy to present all the works by Leonardo da Vinci at the Royal Castle in Warsaw or at the National Museum in Kraków.”

Lady with an Ermine is a painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci from around 1489-1490. It is one of four portraits of women painted by Leonardo da Vinci.

The Lady with an Ermine was sold for EUR 100 million in December 2016 to Poland’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage by Prince Adam Karol Czartoryski, whose family owned a private art collection in Kraków. The family brought the painting to Poland from Italy in 1798.