Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Abu Dhabi Identified As Buyer Of $450m Da Vinci Salvator Mundi

Abu Dhabi Identified As Buyer Of $450m Da Vinci Salvator Mundi

The prince is not a previously known art collector, the Times reports, and the sources of his wealth are not publicly known, but he is a close associate of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose far-reaching anti-corruption purge last month cleared the way to the Saudi throne. The painting is purchased by an anonymous buyer for a record-breaking $450 million in NY last month.

The mystery buyer who dropped $450.3 million in the biggest art sale ever has been identified: Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" was acquired by the Saudi Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, according to the New York Times.

In a tweet the newly opened museum said it was looking forward to putting the masterpiece on display in Abu Dhabi.

The announcement only partially resolves the mystery over the painting's sale last month in NY for $450.3m, with auction house Christie's steadfastly declining to identify the buyer.

It's is the last privately owned Da Vinci painting and one of fewer than 20 by the Renaissance artist known to exist. Christie's called the painting's reemergence "the greatest artistic rediscovery of the 21st century".

Normally, news of a wealthy and powerful member of Saudi Arabia's royal family buying a piece of art would not raise any interest. He initially gave a $100 million deposit to secure his purchase and to qualify for the auction.

Stepfeed's Managing Editor Jason Lemon revealed that "Salvatore Mundi's" mysterious buyer is Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud. Also, the prince has not commented regarding his recent purchase.

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.

The painting was later sold by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who bought it in 2013 for $US127.5 million in a private sale that became the subject of a continuing lawsuit.

Christie's said that most scholars, however, still believe that the Salvator Mundi they recently sold was the one painted by da Vinci.

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