The mystery buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's painting "Salvator Mundi", which fetched a record $450.3 million at an auction in November, is a Saudi prince, a media report said. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are close allies. Hyperallergic has reached out to the museum for details, but has not yet received any response.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi also said in a tweet Wednesday: "Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi is coming to #LouvreAbuDhabi". It's not entirely surprising, though, especially given last week's news that the Louvre in Paris is now in negotiations to secure a loan of "Salvator Mundi" for a major Leonardo exhibition slated for October 2019.
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. Christie's declined to say whether the museum bought the painting.
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The museum opened with some 600 pieces including items from early Mesopotamia.
The work - entitled "Salvator Mundi", sold on Wednesday, was painted five centuries ago and is the only painting by the Italian Renaissance polymath to be privately held, Efe news reported.
The first works on loan from the Louvre in Paris include another painting by Da Vinci: La Belle Ferronniere, one of his portraits of women.
It had sold for a mere 45 British pounds in 1958, when the painting was thought to have been a copy, and was lost until it resurfaced at a regional auction in 2005.
He had bought the painting in 2013 for $127.5 million although he later accused a Swiss art dealer of overcharging him.
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