Mr president, please return the Mona Lisa to Italy, says Tour rider Bettiol

mr-president,-please-return-the-mona-lisa-to-italy,-says-tour-rider-bettiol
Mr president, please return the Mona Lisa to Italy, says Tour rider Bettiol

Italian Tour de France rider Alberto Bettiol has taken to social media to request French President Emmanuel Macron to return the Mona Lisa to Italy. In a tweet, Bettiol used the Italian spelling for Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece and thanked Macron for attending the Tour. Macron had visited the prestigious cycling race and had the opportunity to shake hands with Bettiol, who rides for the EF Education EasyPost team.

Leonardo da Vinci left Italy after his patron’s death and spent his final years in France as a guest of the French monarch. He passed away in May 1519 at the Loire Valley chateau, which had become his home. Following his death, the artist’s assistant inherited the Mona Lisa and sold it to King Francis I of France for 4,000 gold coins.

The painting was initially kept at the Palace at Fontainebleau before being moved to the Palace of Versailles by King Louis XIV. After the French Revolution, it found its permanent home at the Louvre museum, where it is currently displayed. There was a brief period when the Mona Lisa was taken to Italy in 1911 after it was stolen. However, it was eventually returned to the Louvre when Vincenzo Peruggia, a museum worker, was apprehended while attempting to sell the painting to a gallery in Florence.

In recent years, there has been increasing pressure for the Mona Lisa to be permanently returned to Italy.

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