Louvre Abu Dhabi to display Leonardo's 'Salvator Mundi'

Vinci's

Vinci's"Salvator Mundi on display at Christie's auction rooms in London. The rare painting of Christ which that sold for a record $450 million is heading to a museum in Abu Dhabi

Christie's declined to say whether the museum bought the painting.

The New York Times reports the mystery buyer was a little-known Saudi prince according to documents it reviewed. The painting "Savior of the world" the crowned representative of the Arab countries bought at auction in the USA for $ 450 million.

Through its collaboration with the Louvre in Paris and other French museums, the new gallery, the largest art museum in the Arabian peninsula, displays works by Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, contemporary Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei and Leonardo's La Belle Ferronniere.

Despite Prince Bader's relatively obscure status, he is seen as a close friend of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and has become more prominent in the kingdom since the crown prince's ascension.

The French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche reported that two investment firms were behind the purchase as part of a financial arrangement involving several museums. Buyers from the Middle East and Asia have been snapping up masterpieces to fill regional museums - and pushing prices ever higher. Also, the prince has not commented regarding his recent purchase.

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

It was just announced that the brand-new Louvre Abu Dhabi will house the world's most expensive painting.

The announcement comes less than a month after the Louvre Abu Dhabi - the Paris institution's first outpost outside France - opened its doors.

The museum opened with about 600 pieces including items from early Mesopotamia. Under a 30-year agreement, France provides expertise, lends works of art and organises exhibitions in return for one billion euros ($1.16bn). In many ways, it's a fitting pair, as most things luxe find their way to the UAE in one way or another. The painting was subsequently acquired by a group of art dealers for less than $10,000 in 2005.

In 2013, Salvator Mundi was bought by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for $127.5 million.

Believed to be the last Da Vinci in private hands, "Salvator Mundi" commanded four times what Christie's had projected even as skeptics questioned its authenticity.

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