Da Vinci painting is on Saudi Crown Prince's yacht

12 Juin, 2019, 20:38 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Mohammed bin Salman

Leonardo Da Vinci's $450 million "Salvator Mundi" whereabouts have been a mystery ever since it sold for a whopping amount of $450 million (£350m) in 2017.

The whereabouts of the painting, which several experts dispute is by the Italian master himself, has been a mystery since it was sold for $450m at an auction in NY in 2017.

According to the report, the painting was initially bought by Saudi Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud on behalf of MBS.

The 500-year-old painting was reportedly gifted to Mohammed bin Zayed of Abu Dhabi, so that it could be displayed at the new Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The Saudis insisted that the Salvator Mundi, supposedly a Da Vinci, had been bought for the Abu Dhabi Louvre.

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Ben Lewis, author of The Last Leonardo, said he believes the owners had been "put off by experts who have expressed doubt about the painting's authenticity", according to The Telegraph.

The evocative work, dubbed the "male Mona Lisa" because of its similarities to the iconic painting, was said to have been purchased by another prince, acting as a proxy for bin Salman at the Christie's auction.

Floating around at sea might not be the most appropriate location for an artistic masterpiece, but it looks like that is where the "Salvator Mundi" is set to stay for the foreseeable future.

AFP could not corroborate Schachter's column, and in a nod to the opaque nature of worldwide art sales, he wrote, "In the murky Middle Eastern waters nothing is quite crystal clear".

Artnet said "two principals involved in the transaction" had told its reporter that "the work was whisked away in the middle of the night on MBS's plane and relocated to his yacht, the Serene".

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