Debate continues over Michelangelo crucifix

A EU3.3 million wooden crucifix, bought recently at auction by the Italian government, may or may not have been created by Michelangelo. The newly-purchased piece made its debut in December at the Italian Embassy to the Holy See, and was visited by the Pope. (photo)

The small crucifix has been dated to the Renaissance but may not actually have been carved by the master.

“The attribution wrongs Michelangelo, as well as the history of 15th-century Florence,” where there were at least a dozen skilled artisans capable of making crucifixes like the one in question, said Francesco Caglioti, a specialist in Renaissance sculpture, who believes that the crucifix is typical of those made in such workshops, and is worth about 100,000 euros, or about US$129,700.

“Unfortunately, my colleagues have forgotten that, and every time something beautiful emerges, they attribute it to a famous name,” Mr. Caglioti said. “It would seem like everything done in Renaissance Florence can be attributed to 10 people with a thousand hands.”

Debate continues.