Louvre Abu Dhabi to display Leonardo's 'Salvator Mundi'

Saudi Prince Miteb bin Abdullah was released on Tuesday 29th November 2017 after reportedly reaching a settlement deal with authorities of over $1 billion

Saudi Prince Miteb bin Abdullah was released on Tuesday 29th November 2017 after reportedly reaching a settlement deal with authorities of over $1 billion

The mysterious identity of the man who purchased the most expensive painting in the world is said to be Saudi Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud.

On Wednesday, the newly opened Louvre in Abu Dhabi museum in the United Arab Emirates tweeted an announcement that the painting is "coming".

Despite Prince Bader's relatively obscure status, he is seen as a close friend of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and has become more prominent in the kingdom since the crown prince's ascension.

Christie's auction house sold the work of art to an anonymous buyer, but it has recently been revealed that a Saudi prince bought Leonardo's painting.

Abu Dhabi opened its Louvre last month, positioning itself as a city of cultural tourism with a display of hundreds of works that it hopes will draw visitors from around the world.

The newspaper said that the work will be lent or resold to museums, largely in the Middle East and Asia. The painting was sold November 15 for $450 million.

Auction house Christie's demanded he provide a $100 million deposit just to be confirmed as a bidder, and then sit through a rigorous process where Christie's accountants conducted due diligence on his wealth.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi - a franchise of the Paris original - is a symbol of the oil-rich sheikhdom's drive to boost its "soft power" credentials. As the Times points out, in July the king appointed Prince Bader as governor of a new commission led by Prince Mohammed and charged with developing the Al Ola region into a tourist destination.

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

2011, saw the dramatic public unveiling of Salvator Mundi ('Savior of the World') in the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan, at The National Gallery, London.

Bidding was strong for the Leonardo da Vinci painting.

The highest known sale price for any artwork had been 300 million dollars (£224), for Willem de Kooning's painting "Interchange".

It is one of fewer than 20 paintings generally accepted as being from the Renaissance master's own hand, according to Christie's.

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.

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