Da Vinci Painting worth $450 Million is heading to Louvre Abu Dhabi

07 December, 2017, 12:24 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Salvator Mundi Leonardo da Vinci

We now know that the Louvre Abu Dhabi is going to exhibit Leonardo Da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi", which sold last month in a Christie's Contemporary sale in NY for a cool $450 million. The museum has already published a tweet, indicating that the picture will indeed be exhibited there.

Christie's sold it to an anonymous buyer last month, and said it did not comment on the identities of buyers or sellers without their permission.

Salvator Mundi has a controversial history, with at least one expert doubting that it is the work of Renaissance master da Vinci.

Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud has been identified as the mystery buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi", according to a New York Times report published Wednesday.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi officially opened November 11 in the United Arab Emirates. But the auction house would not confirm whether the museum was behind the purchase.

Christie's said the artwork will be going to the museum, but declined to say whether the Louvre Abu Dhabi bought the painting. Built on a man-made island in the Emirati capital, the museum is part of the city's drive to transform itself into a cultural hub. Under a 30-year agreement, France provides expertise, lends works of art and organises exhibitions in return for one billion euros ($1.16bn). The painting's authenticity is still widely questioned by many experts, while the issue of overpainting, restoration and conservation will always be an underlying issue.

But "Salvator Mundi" is set to be the museum's biggest attraction.

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.

It had sold for a mere 45 British pounds in 1958, when the painting was thought to have been a copy, and was lost until it resurfaced at a regional auction in 2005.

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.

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