Louvre Abu Dhabi to display Leonardo's 'Salvator Mundi'

08 Décembre, 2017, 01:10 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Christie's employees pose in front of Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci at Christie's auction house in central London on Oct. 22 2017

The painting is now heading to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened to much hype last month, it was announced Wednesday. According to the New York Times, the buyer is a little-known prince from Saudi Arabia.

But there's still no public information on who purchased the painting at the record-setting auction in November, when the controversial artwork went for $450.3 million United States at Christie's, making it the most expensive painting ever sold.

The 500-year-old painting, called Salvator Mundi - Latin for Saviour of the World - depicts Christ dressed in Renaissance-style robes, his right hand raised in blessing as his left hand holds a crystal orb.

Christie's representatives attempted to identify Prince Bader and his source of finances before the sale, after he gave a $100 million deposit to qualify for the auction, The Times said. Louvre Abu Dhabi is a joint project between the French government and the city of Abu Dhabi, to which Saudi's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is a close ally. Buyers from the Middle East and Asia have been snapping up masterpieces to fill regional museums in China and the Middle East. The previous record was Pablo Picasso's Les Femmes d'Alger, which sold for $179 million.

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 already houses one of Leonardo's finest works.

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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.

During last month's auction, Salvator Mundi or Savior of the World was described by Alan Wintermute, a spokesperson for Christie's auction house, as the greatest art discovery of the 21 century.

Da Vinci died in 1519 and there are fewer than 20 of his paintings in existence.

The painting was sold again in 1958 and then acquired in 2005 by a consortium of art dealers who paid less than $US10,000.

The painting was later sold by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who bought it in 2013 for $US127.5 million in a private sale that became the subject of a continuing lawsuit.


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