- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

MILAN — Italian authorities have ordered the seizure from a Swiss bank vault of a portrait attributed to Leonardo da Vinci that they say was illegally removed from Italy.

Italian financial police said Tuesday that Swiss authorities had seized the portrait of a Renaissance-era noble woman, Isabella D’Este, that a lawyer had been negotiating to sell for 95 million euros ($107 million).

Authorities were alerted in August 2013 that the lawyer was negotiating to sell the painting, which was already in Switzerland without proper export licenses. The painting, however, was removed from its location, and not found until it turned up last summer during an investigation into financial crimes.

By then negotiations were underway to sell it for 120 million euros. Italian police are trying to determine the painting’s true owner.


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