World's most expensive painting to be displayed at Louvre Abu Dhabi


Leonardo's Salvator Mundi became the world's most expensive painting when it sold at Christie's NY earlier this month where it fetched a premium-inclusive $450m.

The work was exhibited in Hong Kong, San Francisco, London and NY before the sale by Christie's auction house.

Update, 12/6/2017, 3pm EST: In a tweet, the auction house Christie's - which sold "Salvator Mundi" - congratulated the Louvre Abu Dhabi, saying that the painting "is going to its new home".

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A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the mystery buyer of the $450.3million Leonardo da Vinici painting of Christ that is now heading to the Louvre Abu Dhabi in a coup for the bold new museum.

Update, 12/6/2017, 6:30pm EST: The New York Times is reporting that Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, a Saudi prince, has been identified as the buyer of Leonardo's "Salvator Mundi". Christie's declined to say whether the museum bought the painting.

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

Bader made the record-breaking offer for "Salvator Mundi" after 19 minutes of dueling with four other bidders at Christie's auction house in Manhattan on November 15. Under a 30-year agreement, France provides expertise, lends works of art and organises exhibitions in return for one billion euros ($1.16bn).

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. The result obliterated previous world records for an art sale of any kind, including the auction high of US$179.4 million for a Pablo Picasso painting sold in 2015.

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.