"This is madness, this is an absolute record for a Mona Lisa reproduction," a Christie's spokeswoman said.
Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say that had it been built, a design for a bridge in the transcontinental city would have been viable.
Da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" was sold for $450.3 million in 2017 to the Abu Dhabi branch of the Louvre, but has not gone on display since then. The exhibition in Paris features a version of the same painting made by one of da Vinci's disciples.
The Mona Lisa has been behind safety glass since the early 1950s, when it was damaged by a visitor who poured acid on it. Since then there have been several other unsuccessful attempts at vandalising the painting.
The lion, which is two metres (six feet, seven inches) high and three metres long and made of wood with a metal mechanism, is a reconstruction based on a rudimentary sketch left by da Vinci.
Five hundred years after his death, Leonardo da Vinci’s interaction with the Ottomans is memorialised in his designs for a bridge and his overtures to the Ottoman Sultans of the time.
Historical accounts also show Leonardo was left-handed and probably had two other characteristics of people with attention deficit disorder: dyslexia and a linguistic dominance in the right-hand side of his brain.
French President Macron and Italian counterpart Mattarella bond over Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci after months of tensions between Paris and Rome over Italy's populist government and its support for French "yellow vest" protesters.
The Louvre museum in Paris wants to show all of Da Vinci’s paintings loaned from Italian museums in an exhibition to mark the 500th anniversary of the Renaissance artist's death but the nationalist government in Italy is livid about the plans.
The Wall Street Journal initially reported, citing US intelligence and other unnamed sources, that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman used an intermediary to buy the painting. However, a Saudi official denies the purchase.
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