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'Salvator Mundi' Is Heading to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Tweet Says

07 December 2017

The art world's buzzing after the revelation that Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" which recently sold at Christie's for a record of almost $500 million will be on display at the new Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Auction house Christie's has also steadfastly declined to identify the buyer, whose purchase in NY for $450.3 million stunned the art world.

Although Prince Badar did not respond to The Times' detailed request for comment, the Louvre in Abu Dhabi - a museum in the United Arab Emirates - tweeted Wednesday that the "Salvator Mundi" was "coming to Louvre Abu Dhabi", The Times said.

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Salvator Mundi has a controversial history, with at least one expert doubting that it is the work of Renaissance master da Vinci.

Bader bin Abdullah was identified in documents reviewed by the New York Times as the buyer of the painting, which was sold at Christie's in New York on November 15.

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Documents provided from inside Saudi Arabia revealed that representatives for Prince Bader, did not present him as a bidder until the day before the sale.

Painted in oil on a wooden board measuring 18 by 26 inches, "Salvator Mundi" shows its subject gazing dreamily at the viewer, his right hand raised in benediction, while his left clutches a crystal orb. The previous record was Pablo Picasso's Les Femmes d'Alger, which sold for $179 million.

The museum opened with about 600 pieces including items from early Mesopotamia. The Louvre is planning a blockbuster da Vinci exhibition for 2019, but the loans for it have not been made public.

The painting, the title of which means "Savior of the World" in English, was the most expensive painting ever sold at auction.

It had sold for a mere £45 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. The seller was Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who bought it for US$127.5 million in 2013.

'Salvator Mundi' Is Heading to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Tweet Says