The Lost Leonardo | Third Space
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The Lost Leonardo

Mon 22 Nov 2021
What do I believe to be the truth?
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4 out of 5 stars

Who says that great mysteries have to be left to Agatha Christie and Michael Connelly novels? The Lost Leonardo proves the compelling drama and whodunit can occur without one person losing their life or any guns being fired. Yet, this tale proves that the simple sale of one art piece can lead to a trail of deception, money and intrigue, unlike anything that could be conjured up within fiction. Interestingly, the Salvator Mundi (Latin translation of The Saviour of the World) is at the centre of the whole story and captures the imagination of the world.

For those who reside outside the art realm, the events that occurred on 15 November 2017 may have passed by without much notice. On this day, a painting of Jesus that was supposedly painted by Leonardo Da Vinci was sold at Christie's auction house for a record-breaking sale of $450M. That was enough to capture the people’s attention along with every corner of the art world, international law enforcement agencies, and experts within the financial sector. Still, it is the story behind the painting that holds the true mystery and intrigue.

Director Andreas Koefoed takes the audience on an unbelievable journey that began in New Orleans and eventually led to the infamous sale of the portrait of the Saviour. Even if the viewer has no connection to this sector of fine art, this is one of those stories that will keep anyone wrapped with attention until the final moments. Not only does it involve one of the artistic masters, but The Lost Leonardo includes those who would typically be part of the latest spy thriller. Top historians, CIA agents, a Russian mining tycoon, the French prime minister, and even the head of the Saudi Arabian family, Prince Badr bin Abdullah. All the while, will we ever know if the painting is a legitimate masterpiece or merely the most incredible art fraud of all time?

Reputations are on the line and conspiracies running rampant throughout this sordid tale. Yet, what seems to be one for the elite of society manages to show how it is an event that ripples throughout every level of society. Koefoed brings everyone along on the trepidatious pathway that will keep viewers guessing who is being deceived and what individuals will be impacted most by this bizarre sale. Along the way, he exposes the darker side of the art trade and how many see this as a financial transaction rather than caring how it will affect the art community.

Reel Dialogue: Who can you truly trust?

‘The story lays bare the mechanisms of the human psyche, our longing for the divine, and our post-factual capitalist societies in which money and power override the truth. The painting becomes a prism through which we can understand ourselves and the world we live in.’ - Andreas Koefoed

This film deals with so many issues within the human condition, but the big question is, who can anyone trust? In this world that has become more interconnected, it has become less obvious who we can trust or know who is the bearer of truth and justice. The government, schools, historians, financial institutions and even churches have proven to be suspect in trust. Thankfully, there is one place that the truth can still be found. Not to sound cliched, but the Bible does provide answers to this question and more.

Where do you go in the Bible to find answers on trust and truth? John 14, The book of Romans, Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 37:4-6, Hebrews 11

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