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Online petition: Jeff Bezos could buy the Mona Lisa and eat it


What is extreme wealth?

In his Satyricon, Petronius depicts the fictitious orgiastic feasts of Trimalcion, a wealthy freed slave, feasting with his guests on succession of extraordinary dishes.

Exceptional meats, refined appetizers, mountains of poultry, pork, all kinds of cold meats, and cascading pastries.

Some two millennia later, a petition is circulating online with an unusual wish.

Online petition: Jeff Bezos could buy the Mona Lisa and eat it

About that the richest man in the world should get hold of the most famous painting in the world.

And eat it. An agape of excess, as sumptuous as it is incongruous, which would not have been out of place in the ancient Latin novel.

Jeff Bezos buy it, but for what?

The petition, entitled "We want Jeff Bezos to buy and eat the Mona Lisa", was first put online last year by a user identified as Kane Powell.

But it is only in the last few days that it has gained traction.

The sudden take-off of this obscure claim could be linked to the recent announcements of Jeff Bezos' space flight in a Blue Origin capsule.

As well as the revelations of Pro Publica's investigation into the tax returns of several American billionaires, including the boss of Amazon.

Two very different pieces of news that intimately touch the very fortune of this entrepreneur.

Who is as much a fan of space as of tax optimisation.

With an estimated wealth of $193.5 billion, according to Forbes, from his shares in Amazon, there is little Jeff Bezos couldn't afford.

So why not the Mona Lisa, after all?

The portrait, completed in 1518 by the Italian Renaissance master, was valued at $100 million in the 1960s, or nearly $880 million today.

This is more than twice as much as the most expensive work of art to come under the hammer, the Salvator Mundi.

Also attributed to Leonardo - which sold for $450 million in 2019.

Its ever-increasing iconic status over the past 50 years may have multiplied its value even further, as Stéphane-Distinguin argued last year in Usbek-&-Rica.

According to the French entrepreneur, the Mona Lisa is worth at least $50 billion today.

"For the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, 50 billion is only a small third of his fortune, barely more than the amount paid to his wife in his recent divorce."

He wrote in March 2020, with the idea of selling the painting to pay off part of the French debt.

Rename our work Mona Lisa del Giocondo-Bezos

If buying the Mona Lisa thus seems to be within the grasp of the billionaire and future astronaut.

The question of its ingestion - cooked or dry, i.e. in oil - presents in turn dizzying questions.

Could Jeff Bezos, yielding to the petition, stage this luxury consumption, like a modern-day Sardanapalus.?

While the Louvre and the billionaire remain silent for the time being on this matter of good or bad taste.,

The petition has been attracting enthusiastic support in recent days on the platform.

Where comments full of anticipation are multiplying: "This is the most important petition of modern times", "If not now, when? If not him, who?".

"No more eating the rich. It's time for the rich to eat.!

Let's bet that the wish shared by the more than 7000 signatories threatens to go unheeded.

Also, let’s bet that the Amazon giant will eat his hat sooner about his space trip than swallow such a snake, even if it is called Mona Lisa.

Whether he wanted to eat it is another matter.

The Mona Lisa was painted on a panel made from a poplar wood plank, rather than canvas.

Which, combined with the fact that it is now over 500 years old, would make it extremely fluffy to say the least.

Furthermore, the paints Da Vinci used contain all sorts of horribly toxic and otherwise unpleasant ingredients.

These ingredients are silica, tin, iron oxide, mercury, ground-up insects and lots of lead.

Given the difficulty of physically consuming the painting, Bezos may want to warm up with an appetizer.

Perhaps a delicious gift from the Louvre to whet his appetite?

Unfortunately, works of art owned by public bodies cannot be sold or transferred, as Article 451-5 of the "Heritage Code" .

The law governing national treasures states, "Collections kept in museums owned by public bodies are considered public property and cannot be otherwise . "

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