Saudi Prince Identified as Buyer of $450.3M Leonardo Painting "Salvator Mundi"

Coming soon to Abu Dhabi the Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci

Coming soon to Abu Dhabi the Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci

According to documents reviewed by the New York Times, Prince Bader is paying Christie's the $450.3 million (including a buyer's premium) in six monthly installments of roughly $58.4 million each.

"The word "masterpiece" barely begins to convey the rarity, importance and sublime beauty of Leonardo's painting", said Alan Wintermute from Christie's, the auction house that conducted the sale. 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 neighboring Qatar over its alleged support for terrorism.

Dating back to approximately 1500, "Salvator Mundi" smashed auction records when it went under the hammer at Christie's NY last month.

The mysterious identity of the man who purchased the most expensive painting in the world is said to be Saudi Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud.

Prince Bader reportedly claimed real estate was his main source of finance.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi said in a tweet Wednesday: "Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi is coming to #LouvreAbuDhabi".

Unlike much of the Saudi elite, which has been scooped up or intimidated into silence by Prince Mohammed's ongoing purge, Prince Bader appears to be in good standing with the heir apparent to King Salman's thrown. While most are scattered around the world, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will now have two of these paintings.

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The highest known sale price for any artwork had been 300 million dollars (£224), for Willem de Kooning's painting "Interchange". This can be linked to what he said to the lawyers of Christie regarding his financial sources.

Documents viewed by The New York Times purportedly show Prince Bader as the final bidder for the $US450 million ($596 million) painting, Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi.

Bidding was strong for the Leonardo da Vinci painting.

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.

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. It now displays "La Belle Ferronnière", which is on loan from the Louvre in Paris, according to Bloomberg.

It is one of fewer than 20 paintings by the Renaissance master known to exist and the only one in private hands.

Upon re-emerging at auction in 1958, it was dismissed as a copy and sold for just £45 ($60). The seller was Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who purchased it for $127.5 million in 2013.

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