Saudi prince revealed as buyer of $450mn Da Vinci painting

Angelo Anderson
December 7, 2017

The new owner of Salvator Mundi, the Leonardo da Vinci painting that broke auction house records when it was sold for $450 million last month, has been revealed as the Saudi Arabian prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud.

Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud was recently discovered to be the buyer of da Vinci's painting "Salvator Mundi", The New York Times reports.

The famous Leonardo da Vinci painting of Jesus Christ was headed for the new Louvre Abu Dhabi museum, according to Agence France-Presse.

"Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi is coming to #LouvreAbuDhabi", the museum said on Twitter in Arabic, English and French.

In order to participate in the bidding, the prince put $100 million on deposit with the auction house, although Christie's subsequently asked for additional information, including the origin of the money he was putting up, with the prince stating simply that it came from "real estate", The New York Times reported.

"Congratulations", Christie's said in a tweeted reply to the Louvre Abu Dhabi.


Dozens of Saudi elites and even some royal family members have been imprisoned at upscale hotels in the country for several weeks amid Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's ostensible crusade against perceived self-enrichment in the conservative kingdom.

Prince Mohammed, in turn, has been called an admirer of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

The newspaper said that the work will be lent or resold to museums, largely in the Middle East and Asia. The Saudi prince in question did not respond to attempts by The Times to contact him on the matter, the daily reported.

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.

An employee poses with Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" on display at Christie's auction rooms in London.

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The sale more than doubled the previous record of $179.4 million paid for Pablo Picasso's 'The Women of Algiers (Version O)' in 2015, also in NY. It's one of fewer than 20 paintings by the Renaissance master known to exist and the only one in private hands. Many years earlier, in 1958, it sold for a £45 at Sotheby's. It was sold for just thousands in 2005 but was bought again in 2013 for $127.5 million by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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