Italy’s Eurosceptic government REFUSES to lend France Leonardo Da Vinci paintings

Italy is refusing to lend three major Leonardo da Vinci artworks to France for an exhibition to mark the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death.

The Louvre, in Paris, is due to hold the largest show of Da Vinci’s work for seven years when their exhibition opens in autumn this year. 

But the show could be without Da Vinci’s Baptism of Christ, Annunciation and Adoration of the Magi after Florence’s Uffizi Galleries refused to hand them over.

Italy is refusing to lend France three major Leonardo Da Vinci artworks for an exhibit at the Louvre this autumn, including Adoration of the Magi (pictured)

Italy is refusing to lend France three major Leonardo Da Vinci artworks for an exhibit at the Louvre this autumn, including Adoration of the Magi (pictured)

Italy is refusing to lend France three major Leonardo Da Vinci artworks for an exhibit at the Louvre this autumn, including Adoration of the Magi (pictured)

The works, which are kept at the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, were due to feature in a show marking 500 years since the artist's death (pictured above, Leonardo's Annunciation)

The works, which are kept at the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, were due to feature in a show marking 500 years since the artist's death (pictured above, Leonardo's Annunciation)

The works, which are kept at the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, were due to feature in a show marking 500 years since the artist’s death (pictured above, Leonardo’s Annunciation)

Italy's junior culture minister, a member of the anti-migrant League party, said lending the works would sideline their country, adding: 'Leonardo was Italian (pictured, the Baptism of Christ, which is among the works held by the Uffizi)

Italy's junior culture minister, a member of the anti-migrant League party, said lending the works would sideline their country, adding: 'Leonardo was Italian (pictured, the Baptism of Christ, which is among the works held by the Uffizi)

Italy’s junior culture minister, a member of the anti-migrant League party, said lending the works would sideline their country, adding: ‘Leonardo was Italian (pictured, the Baptism of Christ, which is among the works held by the Uffizi)

Lucia Borgonzoni, an Italian culture minister and senator for the anti-migrant League, said lending the works would ‘put Italy on the margins of a major cultural event.’

‘The 500th anniversary also exists for Italy, and Leonardo was Italian,’ she said.

Leonardo – a towering figure of the Renaissance period who worked as an inventor, mathematician, sculptor and architect, as well as an artist – was born in Florence but died in the Loire Valley, in France.

Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Galleries, said the three Leonardo works are considered too fragile to travel – and pointed out that the Louvre has a policy of never lending the Mona Lisa.

The row escalated as Luigi di Maio, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Eurosceptic Five Star Movement, told French yellow jacket protesters ‘don’t give up.’

Di Maio said Italy had been following their struggle ‘from the day you first appeared’ and urged them to continue.

The Louvre was due to hold its exhibition in autumn this year and billed it as the biggest showing of the artist's work since London's National Gallery in 2011

The Louvre was due to hold its exhibition in autumn this year and billed it as the biggest showing of the artist's work since London's National Gallery in 2011

The Louvre was due to hold its exhibition in autumn this year and billed it as the biggest showing of the artist’s work since London’s National Gallery in 2011

The row escalated as Luigi Di Maio, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister (left), told French yellow jacket protesters not to give up as they called for Emmanuel Macron (right) to leave office

The yellow jacket protests began as a demonstration over fuel duty rises, but have since expanded into anti-establishment rallies

The yellow jacket protests began as a demonstration over fuel duty rises, but have since expanded into anti-establishment rallies

The yellow jacket protests began as a demonstration over fuel duty rises, but have since expanded into anti-establishment rallies

The yellow jackets began demonstrating against French President Emmanuel Macron after being upset over planned rises in fuel duty.

But the demonstrations – which have often turned violent – have since expanded to include general anti-establishment sentiment.

Macron is viewed among protesters as a President of the rich and they are calling for him to leave office.

A raft of concessions – including a cancellation of the fuel rise, extra pay and pension tax cuts – have failed to quell their anger.

Meanwhile Macron, Europe’s premiere globalist following Angela Merkel’s decision to step down as German Chancellor in 2021, has suffered badly in opinion polls.

In a blog post, Di Maio said ‘politics has become deaf to the needs of citizens who have been kept out of the most important decisions affecting the people.’

He added that ‘the cry that rises strongly from the French squares is ultimately one of “let us participate!”‘

Recalling his own party’s journey from inception four years ago to the seat of power, he told them to ignore ‘the insults and sneers’ of opponents.

‘Those who teased us, today disappeared from the political scene,’ he said.

Di Maio also offered his party’s support ‘to use some of the functions of our software, for instance calls for actions to organise meetings or voting system to … pick candidates for elections.’

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