The Da Vinci of Debt, a new art installation in Grand Central Terminal, has a lot of superlatives involved. The vertiginous sculpture is made from 2,600 real college diplomas from college graduates. As such, the initiative behind The Da Vinci of Debt, Natural Light College Debt Relief program, is calling it the “most expensive piece of art in the world.” Natural Light has valued the diplomas collectively at $470 million dollars, with the average diploma costing around $180,000 (they used figures from Student Loan Hero, a company from Lending Tree). So far, the most expensive piece of art ever sold was Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi for $450 million.

Da Vinci of Debt full viewPhoto courtesy Natural Light

The Natural Light College Debt Relief program is operated by Anheuser-Busch (yes, Natural Light IS that Natty Light you’re thinking of.). The program provides $1 million each year to help students reduce their student debt burden. It’s in its fourth year of a ten year, $10 million commitment. The program is operated as a contest and here’s the official description for 2021: “Fans can tell Natty what inspired them to go to college for a chance to have Natty pay down their debt. Natty Light will be accepting entries using #NattyStories and #Contest from Jan 11 through March 21, 2021. Full contest rules and regulations can be found at” There will be 25 total winners.

Diplomas whirling around deskPhoto courtesy Natural Light

The Da Vinci of Debt is located in Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central. It’s a swirling tornado of diplomas, all framed in white. Throughout 2020, Natural Light asked fans through social media if they could borrow their diploma for $100 (paying them via CashApp or check). Through this “diploma rental,” they were able to collect the diplomas for this installation. According to the organizers, “The design is meant to illustrate both the scale of the crippling debt crisis while also alluding to the chaotic impact college debt creates for those who are burdened by it. Each diploma was carefully molded in place and brilliantly suspended using an intricate network of cables.” In addition to the physical installation in Vanderbilt Hall, there’s an augmented reality experience available through Snapchat that can be viewed from anywhere.

Da Vinci of Debt diplomas flying near light in grand centralPhoto courtesy Natural Light

Daniel Blake, Vice President of Value Brands at Anheuser-Busch said in a press release, “That’s what made it the perfect medium for this campaign. It’s a very fitting analogy for the outrageous cost of attending a typical four-year college. Through Da Vinci of Debt, we hope to inspire action around the college debt crisis and drive more fans to enter for a chance to have the Natty College Debt Relief Program pay down their student loans. Natty is dedicated to doing everything we can to provide real solutions to college debt, and if there is a serious bidder, you know where to find us…@naturallightbeer.”

You can see this installation through this Saturday, January 16th. We have one ticket left to our tour of the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal this Saturday where you can The Da Vinci of Debt and more of the terminal’s secrets all at once!