France should sell Mona Lisa for €50bn to make up for financial losses during coronavirus, says tech CEO

A tech CEO believes France should sell the Mona Lisa for €50bn - (Copyright PA)
15:56pm, Tue 19 May 2020
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France should sell the Mona Lisa for €50bn to help ease the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, a leading businessman has suggested.

Stephane Distinguin, founder of tech company Fabernovel, believes the country should 'sell the family jewellery’. 

The famous painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci sits in the Louvre Museum in Paris and is the most visited piece of art in the world.

The 46 year-old CEO told French magazine Usbek & Rica: "Day after day, we list the billions engulfed in this slump like children counting the fall of a stone into a well to measure its depth. We are still counting, and this crisis seems unfathomable.

"As an entrepreneur and a taxpayer, I know that these billions are not invented and that they will necessarily cost us. An obvious reflex is to sell off a valuable asset at the highest price possible, but one that is the least critical as possible to our future.

“A painting is easy to move and therefore to hand over. And we have a lot of paintings … In 2020, we have to get the money where it is. So sell family jewellery … The price is the crux of the matter and the main subject of controversy. The price has to be insane for the operation to make sense. 

"I estimate that it would take no less than €50bn (£44.7bn) to acquire the Mona Lisa. I was told that my estimate was very overvalued, even far-fetched, but each time without real arguments.”

In 2019, Distinguin was awarded the Legion d'Honneur, France's highest order of merit.

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