Louvre launches online appeal to buy Cranach masterpiece
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The world-famous Louvre museum in Paris has launched an online appeal for cash to buy a 16th century German masterpiece. It wants to raise one million euros (1.4 million dollars) to buy The Three Graces by German renaissance master Lucas Cranach the elder.
The sellers, who have owned it since 1932, are asking for four million euros, and the Louvre has raised three-quarters of the amount.
"It needs one last effort for this painting to join the national collections," Louvre president Henri Loyrette says on the French-language website.
The small-sized work, painted in 1531 and always privately owned, shows three women against a dark background, wearing nothing but necklaces, apart from the central figure who also sports a red hat.
According to the website, the painting is remarkable for its "astonishing perfection", its great rarity and its state of conservation, meriting its designation as a national treasure.
Donors have until the end of January to contribute whatever sum they wish to the purchase of the painting, and see their names figure on a list of sponsors.
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