viernes, 15 de diciembre de 2017

Mystery buyer of ‘Salvator Mundi’ revealed: the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia |MercatorNet|December 15, 2017|MercatorNet|

Mystery buyer of ‘Salvator Mundi’ revealed: the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

|MercatorNet|December 15, 2017|MercatorNet|

Mystery buyer of ‘Salvator Mundi’ revealed: the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

Will this open up a crack between Christianity and Islam?
Peter Kopa | Dec 14 2017 | comment 3 

Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Salman
When Leonardo da Vinci’s enigmatic painting “Salvator Mundi” – the last of his paintings in private hands – sold at auction for US$450.3 million, the art world was astonished. The previous record had only been $300 million, for “Interchange”, by the Dutch-American abstract artist Willem de Kooning. Who could have paid so much? It is about the same amount of money as the GDP of Tonga.
The mystery buyer has now been revealed as the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Salman. He will soon be exhibiting the painting at the Louvre Abu Dhabi
Although most of the feverish commentary on this record-breaking sale has focused on MBS’s efforts to stamp his authority on his Kingdom, there is another dimension to this narrative. In a country where Christianity is banned and persecuted, why did its Crown Prince buy such a theologically rich Christian painting? Its message is that Jesus of Nazareth is the redeemer of mankind and the Second Person of the Trinity, three Persons in One God. For believing Muslims this is blasphemy. Depictions of religious figures are banned.
Could this event could be a hopeful sign of the impact of the internet on the Arab world? Perhaps sympathy for Christianity and Western values are seeping into a country which has become notorious for religious intolerance. All citizens must be Muslims; the only permitted places of religious worship are mosques; the judicial system is based on laws derived from the Quran and the Sunna; and blasphemy against Islam may legally be punished by death (although this has not happened in recent times).
However, despite the strict religious atmosphere, enforced by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, almost half of men under 35 in Saudi Arabia fail to follow the Koran's precept of going to a mosque on Fridays.
Does the bold reforming spirit of Mohammed Bin Salman mark a moment for a rapprochement between Christianity and Islam in the Muslim Arab world?
No one thinks that cathedrals will rise in Mecca and Medina any time soon. But perhaps the purchase of a 500-year-old painting will enable a spirit of mutual esteem, respect and understanding between Christianity and Islam. After all, both recognize God as a father – though in very different ways – and both believe in the dignity of man. Where before there was a blank and insurmountable wall between the two faiths, perhaps a crack is opening up.
Peter Kopa is a Czech political analyst. He lives in Prague.


December 15, 2017

After two days we have quite a line-up of articles to end the year. Not surprisingly, several of them have a Christmas theme, but view the great holy day (holiday) from very different angles: through Tolkien’s Father Christmas letters to his children; from beneath the Southern Cross constellation; through the nature imagery of a charming Neapolitan song; from outside an abortion clinic where carollers gather, and from inside a new animated film from Sony starring a donkey, a bird and a sheep.

Speaking of film, Michael Cook has highlighted some of the best movies of 2017. Peter Kopa reflects on the news that the mystery buyer of the ‘Salvator Mundi’ painting is none other than the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia -- might this be good news for Christians in the strict Muslim state? I’ve sketched the moving story of a Polish born New Zealand woman who survived deportation to Siberia as an infant with her family during World War II. Toni Saad has already provoked discussion on the question of cremation…. And there is yet more. All links below.

Now it’s time for me to say, Merry Christmas! Thank you for participation in the MercatorNet community during 2017! And you will hear from us again in the second week of January.

Carolyn Moynihan 
Deputy Editor,
Our pick of the films of 2017
By MercatorNet
MercatorNet’s nominations for the best all-round entertainment of the past year
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Peace in the womb
By Sheila Liaugminas
Carols outside abortion clinics.
Read the full article
‘A holiday in Siberia’: a Polish survivor’s story
By Carolyn Moynihan
Whole families were among Poles deported to Soviet concentration camps in 1940 and 1941.
Read the full article
The Star
By Andrea Valagussa
The nativity through the eyes of a donkey, a bird, and a sheep.
Read the full article
You Come Down from the Stars: an Italian Christmas song
By Chiara Bertoglio
A compendium of poignant, beautiful religious truths.
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Towards Christmas under the Southern Cross
By Noel McMaster
A missionary priest reflects on Christmas in the Kimberley.
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Russia’s population declines once more
By Marcus Roberts
And Putin is trying to reverse the drop once more.
Read the full article
Mystery buyer of ‘Salvator Mundi’ revealed: the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia
By Peter Kopa
Will this open up a crack between Christianity and Islam?
Read the full article
Frock shock-horror: a Democrat woman mentions female decorum
By Carolyn Moynihan
Congress colleagues are left speechless at the idea women could dress to protect.
Read the full article
Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas
By Harley J. Sims
A father's remarkable response to his children's Christmas wishes.
Read the full article
Rethinking the burning question of cremation 
By Toni Saad
It involves the destruction of an invaluable repository of social and collective memory
Read the full article
Destroying monuments is destroying our history 
By Denyse O'Leary
Iconoclasts in the US and Canada are not the apex of moral perfections
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