The amazing 16th-century Villa Aurora in Rome is for sale. The 2,200 square meter (more than 23,000 square feet) historical home contains priceless works of art by Guercino, Pomarancio, Michelangelo, and the only ceiling painted by Caravaggio. The villa failed to sell at auction in January, when the list price was €471 million. It failed to sell again in April, when the price was dropped to €377 million. Among people who can afford it, why hasn't this home had a buyer? The reasons are many.
1. The ceiling by Caravaggio is estimated to be worth 100 million, but it cannot be removed or sold separately, so what is it really worth to its owner? The same can be said for the ceiling by Guercino.
2. The house is listed with Italy's Ministry of Culture, and they have a right to buy it. Even if they don't, required restoration is expected to cost €10 million.
3. The sale is a court-ordered mandate resulting from a family inheritance dispute (widow vs. the late owner's offspring). The price will drop until someone buys it.
You might also guess that there is a lack of Russian oligarch customers these days as they are busy losing their yachts. But since a judge ruled that the villa must be sold, it will go up for auction again in June for €301 million. Read the story of the sale and the current state of the estate at The History Blog. -via Strange Company
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