A replica of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa is on sale in Paris, with an expected price tag of 300,000 euros ($365,645).
It is said that the painting was painted by a follower of da Vinci in the early seventeenth century, and is widely known as “Mona Lisa Hecking” after its previous owner Raymond Hecking.
Hecking, who died in 1977, has questioned the authenticity of the original masterpiece now in the Louvre.
A replica of the painting will be offered for sale at Christie’s auction house in Paris.
Hecking acquired the canvas in the 1950s from an art dealer in Nice.
Christie’s said in a statement: “This work and its history demonstrate the allure of the Mona Lisa and the aura associated with Leonardo da Vinci.”
It quoted Pierre Etienne, an official at the auction house, as saying that Hecking’s Mona Lisa is “the dream of a man with a passion for art.”
He added: “Raymond Hecking was a strong advocate (of his painting) among art historians and the international media.”
The original Mona Lisa is one of the most famous paintings in the world, and Leonardo da Vinci, who belongs to the Italian Renaissance, is considered one of the greatest painters in history.
It is believed that he painted this masterpiece in the early 16th century.
The theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911 caused an international uproar. Vincenzo Perugia, a clerk at the world’s most-visited museum, hid in a closet at night to steal a da Vinci painting.
However, the painting was recovered in 1913, after Perugia attempted to sell it to an antiques dealer in Florence.
Two years ago, a dispute erupted over the ownership of a painting known as the “earlier Mona Lisa” that was found over a fireplace in a London apartment in the 1960s.