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$450 million Leonardo painting heading to new Louvre museum

07 December 2017

The museum tweeted that "Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi is coming to #LouvreAbuDhabi", which was confirmed by Christie's, the auction house that handled the sale of the painting.

The organization behind the museum became one of the most aggressive buyers on the global art market over the last decade. Yet it's still mind-boggling to think that the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a recently completed museum costing roughly $700 million, will soon house a painting costing $450.3 million.

Prince Mohammed is in turn believed to be close to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nayhan.

The New York Times reports according to documents it reviewed the mystery buyer was a little-known Saudi prince.

Finally, the splashy purchase came just as Saudi Arabia's 32-year-old crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was leading a "sweeping crackdown against corruption and self-enrichment" among the country's elite, as the Times noted.

The French weekly le Journal du Dimanche earlier reported that two investment firms were behind the painting's purchase as part of a financial arrangement involving several museums.

People visit the Louvre Museum, during the public opening day, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, November 11, 2017. Buyers from the Middle East and Asia have been snapping up masterpieces to fill regional museums - and pushing prices ever higher.

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He hoped the president's visit to the region would help contextualize the impacts of specific budget cuts. The Two Museums event on Saturday is part of Mississippi's 200th birthday celebration.

Prince Bader is listed as a director of Houston-based Energy Holdings International, Inc. Now the painting that far surpassed the former record held by Picasso's Women of Algiers (which fetched $179.4 million in 2015) has found a new home.

Exhibiting the painting would prove a major attraction for the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened in November at a ceremony attended by French President Emmanuel Macron. Da Vinci's "La Belle Ferronnière" is on loan there from the Louvre in Paris.

It is one of fewer than 20 paintings by the Renaissance master known to exist and the only one in private hands.

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.

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

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

$450 million Leonardo painting heading to new Louvre museum