The most expensive painting Da Vinci will appear in UAE

Angelo Anderson
December 7, 2017

The museum tweeted Thursday, "Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi is coming to #LouvreAbuDhabi". The painting is purchased by an anonymous buyer for a record-breaking $450 million in NY last month.

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

The presence of Salvator Mundi at The Louvre Abu Dhabi will be a great draw.

The New York Times reported Saudi Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud purchased the painting at the November 15 auction.

The 500-year-old painting is called "Salvator Mundi", Latin for "Savior of the World". The Times also described him as having a relatively low public profile and no history as a major art collector, while also being a friend and associate of the country's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Buyers from the Middle East and Asia have been snapping up masterpieces to fill regional museums - and pushing prices ever higher. 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 neighboring Qatar over its alleged support for terrorism. 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.


The Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is affiliated with the Paris original, opened in November, costing more than $1.3 billion to construct.

It is the first of three museums slated to open on the emirate's Saadiyat Island, with plans also in place for an edition of New York's Guggenheim.

Featuring a vast silver-toned dome, the Louvre Abu Dhabi was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, drawing inspiration from Arab design and evoking both an open desert and the sea. It now displays "La Belle Ferronnière", which is on loan from the Louvre in Paris, according to Bloomberg.

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. The painting was sold again in 1958 and then acquired in 2005 by a group of art dealers for less than $10,000.

In 2013, Salvator Mundi was bought by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for $127.5 million.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER