Stephane Distinguin, the founder of tech company Fabernovel, thinks that France could make up for its financial losses amid the coronavirus pandemic by selling the Mona Lisa.
“Day after day, we list the billions engulfed in this slump like children counting the fall of a stone into a well to measure its depth,” Distinguin told Usbek & Rica Magazine. “We are still counting, and this crisis seems unfathomable.”
“As an entrepreneur and a taxpayer, I know that these billions are not invented and that they will necessarily cost us. An obvious reflex is to sell off a valuable asset at the highest price possible, but one that is the least critical as possible to our future.
A painting is easy to move and therefore to hand over. And we have a lot of paintings … In 2020, we have to get the money where it is. So sell family jewellery … The price is the crux of the matter and the main subject of controversy. The price has to be insane for the operation to make sense. I estimate that it would take no less than €50billion (£44.7 billion) to acquire the Mona Lisa. I was told that my estimate was very overvalued, even far-fetched, but each time without real arguments.”
As Independent reports, Distinguin also suggested that the Mona Lisa could be “tokenised”, with a form of crypto-currency allowing the painting to be easily exchanged between nations.