Economy

Secret Buyer Of $450 Million Leonardo da Vinci Painting Revealed

Secret Buyer Of $450 Million Leonardo da Vinci Painting Revealed

A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of the world's most expensive painting, priced at $450 million. He is little-known Saudi prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud.

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.

The Times said Bader is "a friend and associate" of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who last month launched an alleged corruption crackdown that has led to the detention of several princes and dozens of senior government officials and prominent businessmen.

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

"The word "masterpiece" barely begins to convey the rarity, importance and sublime beauty of Leonardo's painting", said Alan Wintermute from Christie's, the auction house that conducted the sale.

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Prince Bader is part of the Farhan branch of the royal family, which traces its lineage to an 18th-century Saudi ruler, not to King Abdulaziz ibn Saud, the founder of the modern-day kingdom. At that time he put down a $100 million deposit to qualify for bidding.

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. King Charles I of England used to be the owner of the painting before it disappeared for a long period of time. In 1900, the work was lost and was recently redeemed after being purchased by an art collector.

The painting was sold again in 1958 and then acquired in 2005 by a consortium of art dealers who paid less than $US10,000. Da Vinci painted "Salvatore Mundi" while working on his prestigious "Mona Lisa" portrait.

There had been media reports that it had been bought by a Saudi prince.

The painting was later sold by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who bought it in 2013 for $US127.5 million in a private sale that became the subject of a continuing lawsuit.


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