Medieval masterpiece by Cimabue rediscovered in French house

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Art expert Eric Turquin inspects the painting "Christ Mocked", a long-lost masterpiece by Florentine Renaissance artist Cimabue in the late 13th century, which was found months ago hanging in an elderly woman's kitchen in the town of Compiegne, displayed in Paris, France, September 24, 2019. (REUTERS)
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The painting "Christ Mocked" (C), a long-lost masterpiece by Florentine Renaissance artist Cimabue in the late 13th century, which was found months ago hanging in an elderly woman's kitchen in the town of Compiegne, is displayed in Paris, France, September 24, 2019. (REUTERS)
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A part of the painting "Christ Mocked", a long-lost masterpiece by Florentine Renaissance artist Cimabue in the late 13th century, which was found months ago hanging in an elderly woman's kitchen in the town of Compiegne, is seen in Paris, France, September 24, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 24 September 2019

Medieval masterpiece by Cimabue rediscovered in French house

  • The painting will be the first Cimabue masterpiece to be auctioned when it is put up for sale at the Acteon auction house north of Paris on Oct. 27, according to Pinta

PARIS: A masterpiece attributed to 13th century Italian painter Cimabue has been discovered in a French woman’s kitchen — and it’s expected to sell for millions of euros at an upcoming auction.
Titled “Christ Mocked,” the small wood painting depicts Christ surrounded by a crowd. Experts think it to be part of a larger diptych Cimabue painted around 1280, said Stephane Pinta, an art specialist with the Turquin gallery in Paris.
“It’s a major discovery for the history of art,” Pinta said of the newly discovered work measuring about 10 inches by 8 inches (24 centimeters by 20 centimeters). Other experts agreed.
Until recently, the painting hung on a wall between the kitchen and the dining room of a home in Compiègne. The woman considered it an icon of little importance until an auctioneer spotted the painting while going through her house and suggested bringing it to art experts, Pinta said.
Cimabue, who taught Italian master Giotto, is widely considered the forefather of the Italian Renaissance. He broke from the Byzantine style popular in the Middle Ages and incorporated elements of movement and perspective that came to characterize Western painting.
After examining the French kitchen find, Turquin gallery specialists concluded with “certitude” it bore hallmarks of Cimabue’s work, Pinta said.
They noted clear similarities with the two panels of Cimabue’s diptych, one displayed at the Frick Collection in New York and the other at the National Gallery in London.
Likenesses in the facial expressions and buildings the artist painted and the techniques used to convey light and distance specifically pointed to the small piece having been created by Cimabue’s hand. Pinta said all those characteristics animate the newly discovered piece. “What’s moving in this painting is the motion that we see in Christ,” Pinta said.
Alexis Ashot, an independent art consultant for British auction house Christie’s, said the discovery in France sent ripples of excitement in other parts of the art world.
“It’s wonderful to be reminded that there are paintings of such major importance that are still out there and still to be discovered,” he said.
The painting will be the first Cimabue masterpiece to be auctioned when it is put up for sale at the Acteon auction house north of Paris on Oct. 27, according to Pinta. Turquin experts think a major art museum will buy it for a price of between 4 million and 6 million euros. Ashot said he thinks the painting could fetch even more.
“I could easily see that if word gets out there that this painting is available for sale, then the price could be much higher than they are estimating,” he said.


Heavy rain across Cairo cause chaos as residents use bulldozer to escape floods

A video was circulated over social media showing a bulldozer carrying people to help them get to the other side of the road that was flooded by the rain. (Screenshot)
Updated 23 October 2019

Heavy rain across Cairo cause chaos as residents use bulldozer to escape floods

  • Flooding on roads heading to Cairo’s International Airport caused severe delays for flight passengers
  • Authorities in Cairo deployed several vacuum trucks to clear the roads

DUBAI: Heavy rain hit Cairo on Tuesday resulting in floods across the city, leaving residence stranded.  

A video was circulated over social media showing a bulldozer carrying people to help them get to the other side of the road that was flooded by the rain.

 

Scenes of large pools of water were spread among Cairo’s districts including Heliopolis, Nasr city and Salah Salem.

Pictures of people swimming in the puddles were shared on social media. Other images showed floating boxed packages while others pretended to fish in the streams of water gushing down the streets.

 

The weather also caused flight delays, and heavy traffic across the city’s busiest roads, Egypt local press reported.

Flooding on roads heading to Cairo’s International Airport caused severe delays for flight passengers.

In response to the weather conditions, EgyptAir delayed departure time for flights until the maximum number of passengers arrive at the airport.

“The airline has decided to delay the departure of some flights due to the heavy rains, until the arrival of the maximum amount of passengers booked for these flights, to preserve the rights of our customers,” EgyptAir said in a statement.

The flood caused Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly to give schools and universities in Cairo a day off on Wednesday, as more rain is expected.

In response to the prime minister’s announcement, Egyptian influencer and university student, Mohamed Tarek, shared a video on Facebook expressing his joy after hearing the news.

Authorities in Cairo deployed several vacuum trucks to clear the roads.

The Egyptian Meteorological Authority had sent out weather warnings earlier this week, with expectations of weather disruptions across the country from Monday to Friday.