Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

$450m Da Vinci painting bound for Louvre Abu Dhabi

Viewers gather to view Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi on display at Christie's auction rooms in London. The rare painting of Christ which sold for a record $450 million is heading to Louvre Abu Dhabi. Kirsty Wigglesworth  AP Saudi Crown Prince behind record bid for Leonardo
Charlie Simmons | 10 December, 2017, 05:41

The painting's buyer was not identified, prompting speculation about the mystery purchaser.

"Salvator Mundi", Latin for "Savior of the World", is one of fewer than 20 paintings by Da Vinci known to exist and the only one in private hands.

Not only was Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi the talk of the art world, but last month's news of a record-setting $450.3 million sale at auction made headlines around the globe.

The New York Times reported on 6 December that the buyer had been Saudi prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, citing documents the newspaper had reviewed.

The Salvator Mundi will go on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi alongside Leonardo's La Belle Ferronnière (around 1490), which is on loan from the Louvre in Paris.

The newly opened branch of the Louvre museum in the UAE; and the only branch outside of France, just released the news on Twitter.

It constitutes the highest price that was ever paid at the auction for any work of art, beating Willem de Kooning's Interchange, a painting that was sold for $303 million in 2015.

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Christie's postwar and contemporary art co-chairman Alex Rotter was representing Prince Bader during the auction, who, interestingly, is not well-known as an art collector.

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.

The first museum to bear the Louvre name outside France, The Louvre Abu Dhabi opened on November 8 in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron.

The firm's website describes him as "one of Saudi Arabia's youngest" entrepreneurs, present in sectors including real estate, telecommunications and recycling.

Here's where you'll be able to find the record-breaking Dhs1.65 billion work by da Vinci.

. It re-emerged in the 1950s, but was written off as a copy and sold for £45 or $60, according to CNN.

Its latest sale was initiated by Russian tycoon Dmitry Rybolovlev, the boss of football club AS Monaco.

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