Saudi Prince Bader Secret Buyer Of Da Vinci's $450 Million 'Salvator Mundi'

Saudi Prince Bader Secret Buyer Of Da Vinci's $450 Million 'Salvator Mundi'

The new branch of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi will exhibit Leonardo da Vinci's portrait of Christ, "Salvator Mundi", which at $450.3 million became the most expensive painting ever sold at a NY auction last month.

Prince Bader belonged to a remote branch of the royal family and had no history of being an art collector, according to a report by the New York Times.

Newly founded art Museum "Louvre Abu Dhabi" announced that he was going to put in their own expozitii "Savior of the world". 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 neighbouring Qatar over its alleged support for terrorism. The Louvre Abu Dhabi did not specify when the Salvator Mundi would go on show at the museum.

Bader bin Abdullah was identified in documents reviewed by the New York Times as the buyer of the painting, which was sold at Christie's in New York on November 15.

Prince Bader is listed as a director of Houston-based Energy Holdings International, Inc.

Bader is one of more than 5,000 princes in Saudi Arabia.

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 presence of Salvator Mundi at The Louvre Abu Dhabi will be a great draw.

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The island will also feature the Zayed National Museum, which had signed a loan deal with the British Museum - although the arrangement has come increasingly into question due to construction delays.

The museum opened with some 600 pieces including items from early Mesopotamia.

"Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi is coming to LouvreAbuDhabi", the museum said on Twitter in Arabic, English and French, displaying an image of the 500-year-old work. Under a 30-year agreement, France provides expertise, lends works of art and organises exhibitions in return for one billion euros ($1.16bn).

Members of Christie's staff pose for pictures next to Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" painting in London, October 24, 2017.

Bidding was strong for the Leonardo da Vinci painting.

Dating from the 1500s, the painting was billed as the final Leonardo work held in private hands, one of roughly 20 paintings attributed to him. It re-emerged in the 1950s, but was written off as a copy and sold for £45 or $60, according to CNN.

In 2013, Salvator Mundi was bought by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for $127.5 million.

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