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emfizz.com December 16, 2017


How the Mysterious Da Vinci Buyer Is Related to Saudi's Crown Prince

08 December 2017, 01:13 | Terri Saunders

Louvre Abu Dhabi Verified account @LouvreAbuDhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi

A Saudi prince spent $450.3m on Leonardo da Vinci's portrait of Jesus Christ at a NY auction last month and it will be exhibited at the new branch of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi.

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

Prince Bader is also reportedly a friend and associate of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who recently embarked on a countrywide crackdown on corruption that touched $100 billion and implicated over 200 people, including members of the royal elite.

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.

Christie's auction house sold the work of art to an anonymous buyer, but it has recently been revealed that a Saudi prince bought Leonardo's painting.

Prince Mohammed also put Prince Bader in charge of governing a commission overseeing the development of Al Ola, which contains an important archaeological site.

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Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi", or "Savior of the World", dating from around 1500. Louvre Abu Dhabi is a joint project between the French government and the city of Abu Dhabi, to which Saudi's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is a close ally. Now the painting that far surpassed the former record held by Picasso's Women of Algiers (which fetched $179.4 million in 2015) has found a new home.

Featuring a vast silver-toned dome, the Louvre Abu Dhabi was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, drawing inspiration from Arab design and evoking both an open desert and the sea.

Salvator Mundi, which means Saviour of the World, went on public display in 2011 in a dramatic unveiling at the National Gallery in London, where the work was declared to be the first newly discovered Da Vinci painting in a century. By this time, its authorship by Leonardo, origins and illustrious royal history had been forgotten, and Christ's face and hair were overpainted.

It is one of fewer than 20 paintings generally accepted as being from the Renaissance master's own hand, according to Christie's.

When it resurfaced in 1900, it was purchased by a British collector.



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