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Da Vinci Painting Visits Italy

October 12, 1998

ROME (AP) _ A Leonardo da Vinci painting is finally returning home to Italy next week, after nearly 200 years in Poland.

``Lady with Ermine,″ painted around 1490, will go on display first in Rome at the Quirinal Palace, the building that houses the president’s office. It will also be shown in other cities.

Polish prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski bought the portrait as a gift for his mother Isabella around 1800 while he was traveling in Italy. Its temporary return from Poland is part of a cultural exchange between the countries.

The person portrayed in the painting is thought to be Cecilia Gallerani, a striking figure at the Milan court who was a poet and friend of poets. She is shown holding an ermine.

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