Record-breaking Leonardo painting goes to Louvre Abu Dhabi

$450m 'Da Vinci painting' heads to Louvre Abu Dhabi

The announcement only partially resolves the mystery over the painting's sale last month in NY for $450.3m, with auction house Christie's steadfastly declining to identify the buyer.

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

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.

Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud was recently discovered to be the buyer of da Vinci's painting "Salvator Mundi", The New York Times reports.

On Wednesday, the museum announced on Twitter in Arabic, English and French that the art work was heading to the Louvre in Abu Dhabi.

Christie's says most scholars agree the painting is by Leonardo, though some critics have questioned the attribution and some say the extensive restoration muddies the work's authorship. The canvas will appear in Abu Dhabi.

The newspaper said that the work will be lent or resold to museums, largely in the Middle East and Asia. Da Vinci's "La Belle Ferronnière" is on loan there from the Louvre in Paris. It opened last month with more than 600 artworks for its permanent collection, including such Old Master paintings as Giovanni Bellini's "Madonna and Child".

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This particular prince reportedly did not have a history of collecting art and was a friend of Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"We are pleased that the picture will be exhibited again", said Christie's spokesperson.

He had bought the painting in 2013 for $127.5m although he later accused a Swiss art dealer of overcharging him.

It is one of fewer than 20 authenticated da Vinci paintings in existence.

At the fateful auction where Salvator Mundi wound up making worldwide headlines when it soared past figures ever seen at auction, Christie's postwar and contemporary art co-chairman Alex Rotter was representing Prince Bader in the room.

2011, saw the dramatic public unveiling of Salvator Mundi ('Savior of the World') in the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan, at The National Gallery, London.