Record Da Vinci painting to be exhibited at Louvre Abu Dhabi

Saudi prince is buyer of world's dearest painting, Leonardo's Salvator Mundi

Saudi prince is buyer of world's dearest painting, Leonardo's Salvator Mundi

The art world's buzzing after the revelation that Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" which recently sold at Christie's for a record of almost $500 million will be on display at the new Louvre Abu Dhabi. Hyperallergic has reached out to the museum for details, but has not yet received any response.

Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" sold for $450.3 million last month.

. 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.

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

Bader, a Saudi Arabian prince from a remote branch of the royal family, coughed up the record-shattering sum for the centuries-old painting of Jesus Christ in order to hang it in the newly opened branch of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi.

For weeks, the buyer's identity remained unknown but on Wednesday, records uncovered by the New York Times finally revealed Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud as the affluent art aficionado.

Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" or "Savior of the World" will be displayed in the Middle East, according to a tweet.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi opened on 8 November in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron, who described it as a "bridge between civilisations".

The island will also feature the Zayed National Museum, which had signed a loan deal with the British Museum - although the arrangement has come increasingly into question due to construction delays.

Painted in oil on a wooden board measuring 18 by 26 inches, "Salvator Mundi" shows its subject gazing dreamily at the viewer, his right hand raised in benediction, while his left clutches a crystal orb. The Louvre is planning a blockbuster da Vinci exhibition for 2019, but the loans for it have not been made public. The result obliterated previous world records for an art sale of any kind, including the auction high of US$179.4 million for a Pablo Picasso painting sold in 2015.

The painting is one of fewer than 20 paintings by da Vinci known to exist and the only one in private hands.

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

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

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