Da Vinci sold for $450 mn is headed to Louvre Abu Dhabi

Mohammed bin Salman

The museum has already published a tweet, indicating that the picture will indeed be exhibited there.

Alex Rotter, the auction house's co-chairman of postwar and contemporary art in the Americas, represented the anonymous buyer of the Da Vinci and placed the winning bid after a spellbinding 19-minute contest that saw offers at $200 million, $300 million and $350 million fall short.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is affiliated with the Paris original, opened in November, costing more than $1.3 billion to construct.

These acquisitions, including that of "Salvator Mundi", are likely part of a dedicated effort to raise the global cultural profile of the U.A.E.

According to The New York Times, representatives of Prince Bader presented him as a bidder only a day before the record-breaking sale.

First, the painting portrays Jesus Christ, who many Muslims believe to be a prophet.

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Prince Bader has no history as a major art collector but is a friend and associate of Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Times said. It is one of fewer than 20 authenticated da Vinci paintings in existence.

In the UAE will have the most valuable painting of Leonardo da Vinci.

The Renaissance master's "La Belle Ferronniere", or Portrait of an Unknown Woman, done between 1495 and 1499 and recently restored, is on loan from the Musee du Louvre in Paris. The new museum now houses a permanent collection of 600 artworks, with a further 300 on loan from Paris - among them another Leonardo painting, "La Belle Ferronnière". By then, though, the painting's origin had been obscured due to overpainting and it was credited to da Vinci's follower Bernardino Luini.

It had sold for a mere 45 British pounds in 1958, when the painting was thought to have been a copy, and was lost until it resurfaced at a regional auction in 2005.

It then underwent a six-year restoration and verification process. Rybolovlev bought it in 2013 for $127.5 million from art dealer Yves Bouvier along with some other canvases.

And while we now know where the world's most expensive painting will be housed, there have been recent indications as to the owner's identity as well.

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