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A Texas-born Italian princess pledges to fight a court order to vacate her 16th-century Roman villa, which features the world’s only known Caravaggio ceiling mural worth $335 million.
Princess Rita Jenrette Boncompagni Ludovisi, 73, was given 60 days’ notice to leave the Casino dell’Aurora last week, the latest chapter in a years-long inheritance dispute with her late husband’s three sons.
Ms. Boncompagni Ludovisi, a former actress, said Reuters she was “stunned” to have been ordered to leave her home and would appeal the decision.
The Casino dell’Aurora, located in the center of Rome, was built on the former gardens of Julius Caesar and features works by renowned Italian artists, such as Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto by Guercino and Caravaggio.
After her third husband, Prince Nicolò Francesco Boncompagni Ludovisi, died in 2018, Ms Boncompagni Ludovisi was allowed to live in the villa for the rest of her life, according to Reuters.
If sold, the proceeds would be divided between her and her late husband’s sons.
The Italian king’s sons disputed the terms of his will and have been embroiled in a drawn-out legal dispute ever since.
The villa has since fallen into a state of disrepair and an Italian court has ordered it to be sold to resolve the succession dispute with Prince Nicolò’s sons.
It was not sold at an online auction in January 2022, after court-appointed experts placed a minimum bid price on the villa of $380 million (€350 million ).
Four other auctions held at lower values also failed to find a buyer.
After the collapse of an exterior wall of the property forced the closure of a nearby street, a judge ruled the property was not properly maintained and issued the eviction order, according to The Republic.
Ms Boncompagni Ludovisi said Reuters she believed she may have been offside with the courts after offering unauthorized paid tours of the property to help defray maintenance costs.
According to the Associated Press, the villa was built in 1570 and had been owned by the Ludovisi family since the early 1600s.
A previous listing on the Rome court auction describes it as a six-level “monumental property” that is “among the most prestigious architectural and landscape beauties of pre-unification Rome.”
It has three garages, two roof terraces and a “splendid garden with arboreal species and tall trees, walkways, stairs and rest areas”.
Mrs Boncompagni Ludovisi lived in the villa for 20 years, telling the Guardian in a recent interview that she devoted “all my time and resources” to it.
According to Forbes.
She was previously married to former North Carolina Congressman John Jenrette.
Ms Boncompagni Ludovisi did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Independent.
. princess Texas refuses leave villa roman containing precious works Caravaggio despite expulsion