Published: Чт, Декабря 07, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

$591m Da Vinci painting heads to Abu Dhabi's new Louvre

$591m Da Vinci painting heads to Abu Dhabi's new Louvre

This could be because Prince Mohammed is a supporter and ally of Abu Dhabi's crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

Prince Mohammed also put Prince Bader in charge of governing a commission overseeing the development of Al Ola, which contains an important archaeological site.

It is believed the prince will be lending the Leonardo to the museum in Abu Dhabi.

Prince Badar's purchase of the image of Christ comes at a time when elite Saudi's are highly concerned about an ongoing "purge" of influential national figures at the bequest of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman.

He is paying for the iconic painting in six installments, with at least five of them priced at more than $58million, the Times reported. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are close allies. USA TODAY has reached out to Christie's for comment; meanwhile, CNN, citing reports that investment firms had purchased the painting in hopes of putting on display, said the auction house would not confirm whether the museum purchased the painting or someone else.

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

Before the auction, Christie's valued it at $100 million US.

Featuring a vast silver-toned dome, the Louvre Abu Dhabi was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, drawing inspiration from Arab design and evoking both an open desert and the sea.

It is the first of three museums slated to open on the emirate's Saadiyat Island, with plans also in place for an edition of New York's Guggenheim.

The Museum already houses one of Leonardo's finest works.

At Christie's Da Vinci auction, the salesroom was full of millionaires and billionaires, including Point72 Asset Management's Steve Cohen, Blackstone Group LP's Tom Hill, who collects Old Master works, and philanthropist Eli Broad.

Meanwhile, Salvator Mundi has had a controversial history, with one expert doubting if it is still the original work of da Vinci. By then, though, the painting's origin had been obscured due to overpainting and it was credited to da Vinci's follower Bernardino Luini.

Dating from the 1500s, the painting was billed as the final Leonardo work held in private hands, one of roughly 20 paintings attributed to him.

Its latest sale was initiated by Russian tycoon Dmitry Rybolovlev, the boss of football club AS Monaco.

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