World

Saudi prince revealed as buyer of $450mn Da Vinci painting

Saudi prince revealed as buyer of $450mn Da Vinci painting

The Art Museum of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi was opened this year in the capital of the UAE.

But there's still no public information on who purchased the painting at the record-setting auction in November, when the controversial artwork went for $450.3 million USA at Christie's, making it the most expensive painting ever sold.

The New York Times yesterday claimed to have seen documents linking the sale to a low-profile Saudi prince with no record of buying major artworks.

A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of the world's most expensive painting, priced at $450 million.

It had been speculated, however, that the buyer might have hailed from the Middle East, particularly following posts on social media earlier today announcing that the painting was making its way to the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The canvas will appear in Abu Dhabi. To differentiate itself from neighboring Dubai, Abu Dhabi is targeting affluent tourists looking for culture and art and it has also built hotels, theme parks and malls.

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.




He is a friend and associate of the country's 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

"We are delighted that the work will again be on public view", a Christie's spokesperson said of the record-setting painting.

The first works on loan from the Louvre in Paris include another painting by Da Vinci: La Belle Ferronniere, one of his portraits of women.

Alex Rotter, the auction house's co-chairman of postwar and contemporary art in the Americas, represented the anonymous buyer of the Da Vinci and placed the winning bid after a spellbinding 19-minute contest that saw offers at $200 million, $300 million and $350 million fall short.

The painting's previous owner, Dmitry E. Rybolovlev, a Russian billionaire, had paid $127.5 million for the painting in 2013, less than a third of its sale price last month, and he is still locked in litigation with the dealer who sold it to him over that price.

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


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