The Roman property featuring Caravaggio artwork will now be resold at a knockdown price
On Tuesday, Casino di Villa Boncompagni Ludovisi, also known as Villa Aurora, was expected to sell for a stratospheric €471 million ($534mn) as it went up for auction in the eternal city of Rome.
Billed as the "auction of the century," is would have been one of the most expensive properties ever sold if the deal had gone through.
Despite rumors that Bill Gates and the Sultan of Brunei were both interested in purchasing the villa, one hour into the auction, it was suspended after offers failed to materialize.
The auction for the 2,800-square-meter (30,000-square-foot) property, located near Via Veneto, was due to last for 24 hours, allowing the super-rich in multiple time zones plenty of time to consider and place their bids.
"In cases like this, where there are no bids, there will be a new auction but with a lower price," a spokeswoman for the Fallco Aste auctioneers in Rome told The Telegraph.
The villa will come up for auction again in April, but at a 20% discount, allowing the world's billionaires the chance to grab the 16th-century villa for the price of €377 million.
Much of the villa's hefty price tag has been attributed to its artwork. The villa is understood to house
Caravaggio's only known ceiling painting. The mural, depicting Pluto, Neptune, and Jupiter, is understood to be worth at least €300 million.
Caravaggio's masterpiece was commissioned in 1597 but was lost for centuries before being rediscovered under layers of paint in the 1960s.
The villa, which is also home to other treasures, has been in the Ludovisi family since the 1600s.
A Rome tribunal ordered the villa to be put up for sale amid an inheritance battle.