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

Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi is Going to the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi is Going to the Louvre Abu Dhabi

The museum was inaugurated only the week before the auction and is believed to have cost a combined figure of over $1bn to build and secure usage of the Louvre name.

The new owner of Salvator Mundi, the Leonardo da Vinci painting that broke auction house records when it was sold for $450 million last month, has been revealed as the Saudi Arabian prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud.

The New York Times yesterday claimed to have seen documents linking the sale to a low-profile Saudi prince with no record of buying major artworks.

He is paying for the iconic painting in six installments, with at least five of them priced at more than $58million, the Times reported.

Although Prince Badar did not respond to The Times' detailed request for comment, the Louvre in Abu Dhabi - a museum in the United Arab Emirates - tweeted Wednesday that the "Salvator Mundi" was "coming to Louvre Abu Dhabi", The Times said. The canvas will appear in Abu Dhabi.

The organization behind the museum became one of the most aggressive buyers on the global art market over the last decade. Da Vinci's "La Belle Ferronnière" is on loan there from the Louvre in Paris. It has more than 600 artworks in its permanent collection.

The museum's opening has also coincided with a period of heightened political tension in the Gulf and the broader Middle East.

"We are pleased that the picture will be exhibited again", said Christie's spokesperson.

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

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.

Badar was reportedly so unknown to Christie's - the auction house in New York City that sold the painting - that the officials at the art house were still trying to confirm the prince's identity even after he made a $100 million deposit to qualify for the auction.

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.

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