MANILA -- Salcedo Auctions on Friday announced the withdrawal of a bronze bust of renowned painter Juan Luna from its event scheduled this weekend.
The piece by Spanish sculptor Mariano Benlliure, titled "Bust of Juan Luna y Novicio," was originally part of "The Well-Appointed Life" auction which will be held both on-site and online this Saturday, September 16.
In a statement, Salcedo Auctions said the decision was made by the current owners "as a gesture of goodwill in light of a request made by the National Museum in consideration of the bust's possible provenance."
"We are proud and honored to have played a crucial role in bringing out to the art community the existence of a Philippine treasure, and an important part of our national patrimony," said Salcedo Auctions chairman and chief specialist Richie Lerma.
"The decision to withdraw the bust from the auction is done with profound respect and a deep sense of responsibility to preserving and protecting our nation's cultural heritage."
Salcedo Auctions said discussions will continue before a final decision is made by the current owners.
And while it is no longer part of the upcoming sale, the Juan Luna bust will remain on display at Salcedo Auctions until September 16.