Saudi Prince Bader Secret Buyer Of Da Vinci's $450 Million 'Salvator Mundi'

Saudi Prince Bader Secret Buyer Of Da Vinci's $450 Million 'Salvator Mundi'

We now know that the Louvre Abu Dhabi is going to exhibit Leonardo Da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi", which sold last month in a Christie's Contemporary sale in NY for a cool $450 million.

A Leonardo da Vinci painting of Christ that sold in NY for a record $US450 million ($591 million) is heading to a museum in the United Arab Emirates. According to the New York Times, the buyer is a little-known prince from Saudi Arabia.

Prince Bader's purchase of the painting is surprising for a number of reasons, as the New York Times noted. As one of the seven sheikhdoms in the United Arab Emirates, and the one with the largest oil reserves, Abu Dhabi is entwined in a Saudi Arabian-led dispute with neighbouring Qatar over its alleged support for terrorism.

The newspaper said that the work will be lent or resold to museums, largely in the Middle East and Asia.

The first works on loan from the Louvre in Paris include another painting by Da Vinci: La Belle Ferronniere, one of his portraits of women.

Prince Bader is listed as a director of Houston-based Energy Holdings International, Inc.

Alex Rotter, the auction house's co-chairman of post-war 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 US$200 million, US$300 million and US$350 million fall short.


The firm's website describes him as "one of Saudi Arabia's youngest" entrepreneurs, present in sectors including real estate, telecommunications and recycling. The Louvre Abu Dhabi did not specify when the Salvator Mundi would go on show at the museum.

Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi", or "Savior of the World", dating from around 1500. This can be linked to what he said to the lawyers of Christie regarding his financial sources.

Da Vinci died in 1519 and there are fewer than 20 of his paintings in existence.

The highest known sale price for any artwork had been $US300 million, for Willem de Kooning's painting, Interchange.

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.

Depicting a half-length, front-facing Christ figure grasping a crystal orb in one hand, with the other raised in a gesture of benediction, the work was put up for sale by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who had purchased it in 2013.

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