'This is madness': Mona Lisa copy sells for $4.6 million in Paris auction

A woman looks at the Hekking Mona Lisa at Christie’s auction house in Paris, France.
A woman looks at the Hekking Mona Lisa at Christie’s auction house in Paris, France.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (REUTERS) - A European collector has bought a 17th century copy of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa painting for €2.9 million (S$4.6 million), a record for a Mona Lisa reproduction, in an auction at Christie's in Paris on Friday (June 18).

Known as the "Hekking Mona Lisa," after its owner who unsuccessfully argued that a copy he had bought in the 1950s was the real thing, is one of many reproductions of the original, which hangs in the Paris Louvre museum.

"This is madness, this is an absolute record for a Mona Lisa reproduction," a Christie's spokeswoman said.

She said there had been 14 bidders in an international auction and that in the last hour, the bids soared from €500,000 to €2.4 million, before a final bid of €2.9 million was made.

The Louvre's original is not for sale. But in 2017, Christie's New York sold da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" for US$450 million to an unidentified telephone bidder, making it the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction.