Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

'Salvatore Mundi's' mysterious buyer is Arab Prince

'Salvatore Mundi's' mysterious buyer is Arab Prince

Salvator Mundi will be travelling to the Lourve Abu Dhabi, owned by Prince Bader's close friend and Crown Price, Mohammed Bin Salman. Prince Bader did not respond to a detailed request for comment. According to Christie's auction house, which handled the sale, it is the only known Da Vinci piece remaining in private hands.

According to the paper, the prince's representatives did not reveal his interest in the painting until the day before the auction, which was held in NY on November 15.

Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud was recently discovered to be the buyer of da Vinci's painting "Salvator Mundi", The New York Times reports.

As a Saudi royal he is tasked with developing the province of Al Ola, a burgeoning tourist mecca that was once the ancient capital of the Lihyanites.

As auctioneers in NY watched on disbelief, the bidding war over Salvator Mundi far outstripped the original "conservative" estimate of $100 million.

The 500-year-old Salvator Mundi, a portrait of Jesus Christ that was regarded as the only Da Vinci painting in private hands, was sold by Christie's on November 15 in NY for $US450.3 million, the most ever paid at auction for an artwork. Its origins only became public knowledge in 2011 when it was unveiled as part of an exhibition at the National Gallery in London.

He had bought the painting in 2013 for $127.5 million although he later accused a Swiss art dealer of overcharging him.

Also, the painting depicts Jesus as the "savior of the world and master of the cosmos", (with his right hand raised in benediction and his left holding a transparent rock crystal orb), a belief that contradicts with Islam's view of Jesus being a prophet.

That sum easily eclipsed the previous art record of $179m (£115m) for a Pablo Picasso work sold in 2015.

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