Ferrari officially recognised as a work of art
An iconic Ferrari has been recognised by an Italian court as a work of art, in an unprecedented judgment that will protect it from reproductions and imitations.
The Ferrari 250 GTO is acclaimed as the world's most valuable classic car, with one example selling at auction last year for $48m (€42m).
Regarded as the Holy Grail of classic cars, just 36 of the models were made, between 1962 and 1964. All 36 are believed to survive and each now has its own unique history.
An Italian commercial tribunal in Bologna has recognised the model not only as a classic, but as a work of art that is entirely original and must not be imitated or reproduced.
"It's the first time in Italy that a car has been recognised as a work of art," a Ferrari spokesperson said from the company's headquarters in Maranello in northern Italy.
"It's not just its beauty that makes it special - it also has a long racing history."
The judgment was handed down by the tribunal in Bologna after Ferrari complained that a company in the northern city of Modena was planning to produce 250 GTO replicas.
Ferrari lodged a petition to have the design and intellectual property rights of the classic car officially recognised.
The court ruled that "the customisation of the car's lines and its aesthetic elements have made the 250 GTO unique, a true automobile icon."
The car's "artistic merits" had been recognised by "numerous awards and official testaments".