Leonardo's Salvator Mundi heads to The Louvre Abu Dhabi

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The new owner of Salvator Mundi, the Leonardo da Vinci painting that broke auction house records when it was sold for $450 million last month, has been revealed as the Saudi Arabian prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud. As one of the seven sheikhdoms in the United Arab Emirates, and the one with the largest oil reserves, Abu Dhabi is entwined in a Saudi Arabian-led dispute with neighbouring Qatar over its alleged support for terrorism. Hyperallergic has reached out to the museum for details, but has not yet received any response.

The outpost of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi announced that Leonardo's Salvator Mundi, which was bought last month for $450 million, would be heading to the museum. 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.

"Congratulations", Christie's said in a tweeted reply to the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Christie's has steadfastly declined to say who bought the artwork, but confirmed its destination on Wednesday, at least partly solving the mystery.


"Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi is coming to #LouvreAbuDhabi", the museum said on Twitter in Arabic, English and French.

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

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

It was the highest auction price for any work of art.


At that time it was attributed to a da Vinci disciple, rather than to the master himself. Da Vinci's La Belle Ferronnière is on loan there from the Louvre in Paris.

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

The painting was sold again in 1958 for only 45 pounds ($60) and then was acquired in 2005, badly damaged and partly painted over, by a consortium of art dealers who paid less than $10,000.


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