Da Vinci sold for $450 mn is headed to Louvre Abu Dhabi

The painting is now heading to the recently opened Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum to go on display. It is the first museum to bear the Louvre name outside France

The New York Times recently reported that a Saudi prince, Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, was the man responsible for buying the painting at that staggering price of $450.3 million.

The outpost of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi announced that Leonardo's Salvator Mundi, which was bought last month for $450 million, would be heading to the museum.

A museum spokesperson said it had no further comment at this stage. 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.

When he placed the required $100 million to participate in the Christie's auction, lawyers from the auction house asked how he acquired the money, according to documents obtained by the Times. Pressed for more information, Prince Bader reportedly gave a terse reply, saying he was in the real estate business and was one of the country's 5,000 princes.

The Times reported the "Salvator Mundi" sale doubled the price of the previous record-holder, Pablo Picasso's "The Women of Algiers", which sold for $179.4 million in 2015 in NY.

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The island will also feature the Zayed National Museum, which had signed a loan deal with the British Museum - although the arrangement has come increasingly into question due to construction delays.

The museum opened with about 600 pieces including items from early Mesopotamia. Under a 30-year agreement, France provides expertise, lends works of art and organises exhibitions in return for one billion euros ($1.16bn). By this time, its authorship by Leonardo, origins and illustrious royal history had been forgotten, and Christ's face and hair were overpainted.

"Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi is coming to LouvreAbuDhabi", the museum said on Twitter in Arabic, English and French, displaying an image of the 500-year-old work.

Dating from the 1500s, the painting was billed as the final Leonardo work held in private hands, one of roughly 20 paintings attributed to him. The painting was sold November 15 for $450 million.

It had sold for a mere £45 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. It was later purchased by art dealers, restored and eventually sold to Russian businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev for $127.5 million.

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