Hacking's "Mona Lisa", a famous replica of the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci, whose owner insisted for years that it was the original work of the genius artist, sold for 2,9 million euros at an online Christie's auction.
An indication of the charm that Gioconda continues to exhibit on display at the Louvre, its 17th-century copy was claimed by 14 collectors and far exceeded the original starting price. Christie's announced the auction last week and estimated that the price would be around 200.000-300.000 euros.
The painting made headlines in newspapers and radio stations in Europe and the United States after it was bought by Raymond Hecking, a second-hand seller in Nice, France, in the 1960s. The collector passionately defended the work's authenticity, challenging historians. art. In fact, he considered the painting on display at the Louvre to be a copy and demanded that the museum prove that Da Vinci was indeed the painter who painted it.
Hecking firmly believed that he owned the original work. He believed that the painting returned to the Louvre in 1914, three years after it was stolen by the Italian Vincenzo Perugia, was a forgery.
After the death of Raymond Hecking in 1977, the painting remained in the possession of his family.
The Mona Lisa joined the collection of King Francis I of France shortly after 1517. From the beginning of the 17th century, many copies of the work were made, including the one purchased by Hecking.