Shock secret in £400M home at centre of feud between Playboy Princess and sons

THIS glorious mansion worth £400million that houses the world’s only Caravaggio mural is set to go under the hammer after becoming the subject of a feud between an ex-Playboy model and her stepkids.

Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi, 72, has been embroiled in a bitter inheritance battle with her three stepsons over the estate’s future since the death of her husband Prince Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi in 2018.

The stunning mansion in Rome is set to be sold at auction and could fetch more than £400million

The stunning mansion in Rome is set to be sold at auction and could fetch more than £400million信用: 路透社
Princess Rita with Prince Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi, 谁死在 2018

Princess Rita with Prince Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi, 谁死在 2018
Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi - who once appeared on the cover of Playboy, has been locked in a feud with her stepsons over the property

Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisiwho once appeared on the cover of Playboy, has been locked in a feud with her stepsons over the property信用: 盖蒂

Perched on a hilltop site in the heart of Rome, the Villa Auroraalso known as Villa Ludovisihas been in their family since 1621.

Sprawling across six levels, the stunning 30,000sqft mansion is described by the auction site 作为 “among the most prestigious architectural and landscape beauties of pre-unification Rome”.

It boasts asplendid garden with arboreal essences and tall treesas well as three garages, two roof terraces, 大约 11 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.

Despite a series of tasty attributes, the mansion’s greatest gift is a spectaculaqr ceiling mural by Italian baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggiothe only one known to exist in the world.

Commissioned by the estate’s first owner Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte, 在 1597, the beautiful piece is tucked in a small room on the first floor he decided to use as his alchemy laboratory.

Measuring more than nine-foot across, the mural was oil painting was done straight on the plaster, and depicts an allegorical scene with the gods Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto representing the transformation of lead into gold.

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Andrew's servants ordered to arrange teddy bears on his bed every night

HEIR BEAR BUNCH

Andrew’s servants ordered to arrange teddy bears on his bed every night

Caravaggio painted his own face and body on each of the three figurines.

Enough to take any art collector’s breath away, the rare painting is worth more than £250million itself.

The villa owes its name to a fresco by another baroque artist, Il Guercino, which adorns the huge ceiling of the entrance hall and depicts Aurora, goddess of dawn, riding her chariot.

It is also filled with sculptures, antiques and statues, including one of Pan attributed to Renaissance master Michelangelo.

Although it features a number of fascinating features, the villa doesn’t come setback-free, as the auctioneer warns it needs renovation works that’ll leave its new owner will a bill of more than £9million.

The historic villa has been at the centre of a drawn-out feud following the death of its owner Prince Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi.

UNDER THE HAMMER

His third wife Princess Rita has been pitted against his sons from a previous marriageFrancesco, Ignazio, and Banteover the property’s fate.

The Texas-born widow is now set to be kicked out of her home after a judge ruled Villa Aurora should be sold at auction, with the proceeds split.

It will go under the hammer this afternoon with the starting bid pegged at £393millionthough it is estimated to be worth an eye-watering £449million.

I just pray and hope that whoever buys it will love it as much as we have,” Princess Rita told Reuters as she revealed Windows founder Bill Gates was once interested in the mansion.

Princess Rita was educated at Harvard before marrying congressman John Jenrette, who was jailed after taking a bribe worth £36,000 in an FBI sting that became known as the Abscam scandal.

After divorcing Jenrette, she appeared in Playboy magazine with a tell-all interviewin which she claimed she and her former husbandmade love on the marble steps that overlook the monumentsin front of the US Capitol.

Princess Rita, 中心, gave an interview to Playboy after splitting from husband John Jenrette

Princess Rita, 中心, gave an interview to Playboy after splitting from husband John Jenrette
The room of the countries, with the side panels painted by Guercino, Paul Bril, Domenichino, Gian Battista Viola

The room of the countries, with the side panels painted by Guercino, Paul Bril, Domenichino, Gian Battista Viola信用: 雷克斯
The villa was built in the 16th century

The villa was built in the 16th century信用: 法新社
Villa Aurora is also filled with sculptures, antiques and statues

Villa Aurora is also filled with sculptures, antiques and statues信用: 雷克斯

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