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

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

The mystery buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's painting "Salvator Mundi", which fetched a record $450.3 million at an auction in NY last month, is a Saudi prince, a media report said.

"Salvator Mundi", an ethereal portrait of Jesus Christ which dates to about 1500, the last privately owned Leonardo da Vinci painting, is on display for the media at Christie's auction in New York, NY, U.S., October 10, 2017.

The painting is expected to arrive at the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, a museum in the United Arab Emirates.

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The revelation that Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud was the purchaser were according to documents reviewed by The New York Times. But there is little known about Prince Bader, as he is not well-known as an art collector.

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.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first museum to bear the Louvre name outside France, has been billed as "the first universal museum in the Arab world" in a sign of the oil-rich emirate's global ambitions. The previous record was Pablo Picasso's Les Femmes d'Alger, which sold for $179 million.

The museum opened with some 600 pieces including items from early Mesopotamia.

In a 30-year deal worth a reported €1 billion ($1.18 billion), the French Louvre assists with exhibition management, offers advice and lends artworks to its Middle Eastern franchise.

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. By this time, its authorship by Leonardo, origins and illustrious royal history had been forgotten, and Christ's face and hair were overpainted.

The painting, the title of which means "Savior of the World" in English, was the most expensive painting ever sold at auction.

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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