Da Vinci 'Salvator Mundi' painting stolen from basilica found in flat

Priceless Leonardo-school ‘Salvator Mundi’ painting of Christ stolen from Naples basilica two years ago is found in a local flat

  • Copy of world-famous Salvator Mundi painting has been found in a Naples flat
  • Leonardo painting had been stolen from Naples basilica two years ago
  • Police found artwork in a nearby flat and arrested 36-year-old Neapolitan 

A copy of the world-famous Salvator Mundi oil painting stolen from a basilica in Naples two years ago has been found in a flat in the southern Italian city.

Italian news agency AGI reported that the 15th-century artwork, widely attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci, had been stolen from the Muscettola Chapel in the Basilica di San Domenico Maggiore in Naples two years ago.

Police found the painting in a room in a flat in Strada Provinciale delle Brecce in Naples. The owner of the flat, a 36-year-old, was tracked down near the property and arrested on suspicion of receiving stolen goods.

Agents of the Crimes Against the Heritage Section of the Naples Flying Squad show the ‘Salvator Mundi’, painting from the Leonardo school dating back to the 15th century

The agents found the painting hidden in an apartment in via Strada Provinciale delle Brecce

Salvator Mundi, a depiction of Christ as saviour of the world, is thought to have been painted in around 1500 for Louis XII – shortly after the French king conquered the Duchy of Milan and took control of Genoa.  

The original piece is the most expensive painting ever sold at auction, breaking all records at Christie’s in New York in 2017 when it was purchased by Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan Al Saud for $450,300,000.

The painting depicts Jesus in Renaissance dress, making the sign of the cross with his right hand, while holding a transparent, non-refracting crystal orb in his left.

Around 20 other versions of the work are known to have been created by students and followers of Da Vinci, with preparatory chalk and ink drawings of the drapery by the master held in the British Royal Collection.  

Italian news agency AGI reported that the painting, widely attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci, had been part of the Doma collection in the Basilica di San Domenico Maggiore in Naples


Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, more commonly Leonardo da Vinci or simply Leonardo, was one of the greatest individuals of the last millennium. 

The polymath was a driving force behind the Renaissance and dabbled in invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography.

He has been attributed with the development of the parachute, helicopter and tank. 

He was born in what is modern-day Italy in 1452 and died at the age of 67 in France. 

After being born out of wedlock the visionary he worked in Milan, Rome, Bologna and Venice. 

His most recognisable works include the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper and the  Vitruvian Man. 

Another piece of artwork, dubbed the Salvator Mundi, sold for a world record $450.3 million (£343 million) at a Christie’s auction in New York in 2017.  

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