Franck Riester, Minister of Culture, decided to refuse the issuance of the export certificate for this major and unpublished work of Cenni di Pepo, known as Cimabue (c. 1240-1302).

The Derision of Christ is a painting from a diptych of devotion made around 1280, to which belonged two other panels known to Cimabue, the Flagellation of Christ (New York, Frick Collection) and The Virgin and the Child (London, National Gallery), with which he shares peculiarities, such as architecture, gold-incised decoration and the type of nimbus, as well as the use of rich pigments. Belonging to this same group is also established by the continuity of the poplar board serving as support between the panel preserved in London and this Christ to the outrages.

These three works most probably adorned the right part of a large diptych, possibly commissioned for the chapel of notables or a religious congregation in Pisa.

This Derision of Christ, which remained in a good state of preservation, reveals, even more than in the other two compositions, Cimabue’s use of a new plastic language. This evolution is particularly visible in the humanist treatment of the figure of Jesus, the rendering of the characters' expressions or that of space.

The Derision of Christ was attributed to Cimabue on the occasion of an expertise carried out in the perspective of a public sale.

Following the opinion of the Advisory Commission on National Treasures, the Minister of Culture signed the decree refusing the export certificate last December for this rare sign, This gives it the status of national treasury for a period of 30 months, which will begin from the notification of this decision to the owner of the table. This period will be used to raise the necessary funds for the realization of an acquisition for the benefit of the national public collections in order to allow this panel to join the Maesta of the Italian master already preserved at the Louvre Museum.

 “I salute the eminent role played by the system of export controls for the protection and enrichment of national heritage and I thank the members of the Advisory Commission on National Treasures, under the leadership of its chairman, Edmond Honorat, whose careful examination of the proposals for refusal of certificate informs my decisions. Thanks to the time given by this measure, every effort will be made to enrich the national collections with this exceptional work,” said Franck Riester.