Art: Mellon & Madonna

On Assumption Day last August important art news leaked from Moscow to Riga, from Riga to Paris, from Paris to the front pages of the U. S. Press. The news leak: Andrew William Mellon had bought Sanzio Raphael's Madonna of the House of Alba for $1,500,000 from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (TIME, Aug. 27).

Twenty-four hours later, the onetime Secretary of the Treasury broke off his grouse shooting at his lodge in Perthshire, Scotland long enough to deny the Moscow-Riga-Paris-U. S. news leak in the following words: "I have not bought the Alba Madonna or any other Soviet art....

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