A 500-year-old painting of Christ by Leonardo da Vinci has been sold at auction in New York for a record $450m after experts painted over the sausage roll he was originally depicted to be holding.
Following the recent uproar over a Greggs advent image in which the three wise men are shown kneeling beside a sausage roll, auctioneers at Christie’s decided it was best to paint over the sausage roll that da Vinci had painted Christ holding, just to be on the safe side and to ensure high bids.
Head auctioneer Chuck Williams explained, “We had heard about the public outcry over the Greggs marketing faux pas with the sausage roll, and when we looked closer at da Vinci’s artwork it was clear that Christ was shown to be holding a sausage roll.
“Which was a ballsy move by da Vinci, given that Christ was a Jew, so we knew that by keeping the sausage roll in the painting we were at risk of offending nearly everyone.”
He continued, “So we hired an expert to paint over the potentially offensive baked snack, thus removing any possibility of controversy.
“And I’m glad we did, as it has now sold for a record amount.
“We also thought it prudent to change the name of the painting from the artist’s original title of ‘Rotolo di Salsiccia’ to ‘Salvator Mundi’. Can’t be too careful these days.”