Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Saudi prince bought record-breaking $450 million Da Vinci painting

Saudi prince bought record-breaking $450 million Da Vinci painting

A Saudi prince has been revealed as the buyer of the world's most expensive painting, priced at a staggering $450 million in an auction at the world-famous Christie's Auction House in November.

"Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi is coming to LouvreAbuDhabi", the museum said on Twitter in Arabic, English and French, displaying an image of the 500-year-old work. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are close allies.

When he placed the required $100 million to participate in the Christie's auction, lawyers from the auction house asked how he acquired the money, according to documents obtained by the Times.

The mysterious identity of the man who purchased the most expensive painting in the world is said to be Saudi Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud. But there is little known about Prince Bader, as he is not well-known as an art collector.

Prince Bader did not respond to a detailed request for comment.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi - a franchise of the Paris original - is a symbol of the oil-rich sheikhdom's drive to boost its "soft power" credentials. The painting's authenticity is still widely questioned by many experts, while the issue of overpainting, restoration and conservation will always be an underlying issue.

'Congratulations, ' Christie's said in a tweeted reply to the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

2011, saw the dramatic public unveiling of Salvator Mundi ('Savior of the World') in the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan, at The National Gallery, London.

A Leonardo da Vinci painting of Christ that sold in NY for a record $US450 million ($591 million) is heading to a museum in the United Arab Emirates.

Christie's today let the cat out of the bag and said the artwork would be going to the museum, they, however, declined to say whether the Louvre Abu Dhabi purchased the painting.

In particular, Abu Dhabi rents the Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Leonardo da Vinci and painting Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David.

The sale more than doubled the previous record of $179.4 million paid for Pablo Picasso's 'The Women of Algiers (Version O)' in 2015, also in NY.

Da Vinci died in 1519 and there are fewer than 20 of his paintings in existence.

"Salvator Mundi", which depicts Jesus holding a crystal orb in his left hand and raising his right in blessing, is one of some 16 known surviving works painted by da Vinci.

Upon re-emerging at auction in 1958, it was dismissed as a copy and sold for just £45 ($60). Rybolovlev bought it in 2013 for $127.5 million from art dealer Yves Bouvier along with some other canvases.

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