‘World’s most expensive house’ has an incredible secret but no-one will buy it

"The most expensive house in the world" is up for auction for the fourth time after three previous unsuccessful attempts at being sold.

Casino dell'Aurora in Rome has a big twist – it is the only building in the world with a ceiling known to have been painted by legendary artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.

The lauded painter, who is often referred to simply as Caravaggio, was born in Italy in 1571 and passed away at just 38 years old.

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This is the fourth time the iconic property has been put on the market this year and was relisted again on October 18.

With 30,000 square feet, the 16th-Century property was once a hunting lodge.

In its three previous attempts at auction, under court order, not a single bid was placed – meaning its reserve price has been slashed in an attempt to get it sold.

But if you were hoping for a bargain snap up then you might be disappointed because the bidding still starts at a whopping £155million (€180million) with a minimum asking price of £207million (€241million).

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And, if the bidding picks up this time as Italian authorities hope, its sale price could rise substantially higher still.

That is, however, a huge cut-down on the previous four entries that have begun at £405million (€471million) in January, £376million (€‎323) in April and in June £259million (€‎301million).

Its astronomical value largely comes from its one-off inbuilt artistic masterpiece, however, it also features artwork from Bril, Domenichino, Pomarancio, Viola and Guercino.

It also has a sculpture believed to have been from Michelangelo and an ornate staircase designed by Carlo Maderno.

To make the costs even more eyewatering, whoever buys it is mandated by Italian heritage laws to spend £9million (€11million) on its restoration.

Villa Aurora comes with bleak history.

It’s on the market after a sour inheritance dispute from 2018, which saw Prince Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi pass away with the villa having been in his family for 400 years.

But squabbling between his third wife and three oldest sons has seen it reach the market – when they couldn’t reach an agreement it was ordered by the courts to be put up for auction.

Speaking to NPR, Princess Rita Boncompagni-Ludovisi, the third wife of the prince, said: “You have to have a billionaire; a millionaire is not enough for this.

“It needs someone with deep pockets, who doesn’t care if you have to spend 10 thousand on a water leak or something.”

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