Louvre Abu Dhabi to exhibit 'Salvator Mundi,' the world's most expensive painting

Coming soon to Abu Dhabi the Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci

The museum was inaugurated only the week before the auction and is believed to have cost a combined figure of over $1bn to build and secure usage of the Louvre name.

Leonardo's Salvator Mundi became the world's most expensive painting when it sold at Christie's NY earlier this month where it fetched a premium-inclusive $450m. French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche earlier reported that two investment firms had purchased the painting in the hope of lending it to museums.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi opened on 8 November in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron, who described it as a "bridge between civilisations".

The announcement comes less than a month after the Louvre Abu Dhabi - the Paris institution's first outpost outside France - opened its doors.

The organization behind the museum became one of the most aggressive buyers on the global art market over the last decade. It has more than 600 artworks in its permanent collection.

"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. By this time, its authorship by Leonardo, origins and illustrious royal history had been forgotten, and Christ's face and hair were overpainted.

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He is a friend and associate of the country's 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

"We are pleased that the picture will be exhibited again", said Christie's spokesperson.

Christie's representatives attempted to identify Prince Bader and his source of finances before the sale, after he gave a $100 million deposit to qualify for the auction, The Times said.

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.

It is one of fewer than 20 authenticated da Vinci paintings in existence.

The painting's previous owner, Dmitry E. Rybolovlev, a Russian billionaire, had paid $127.5 million for the painting in 2013, less than a third of its sale price last month, and he is still locked in litigation with the dealer who sold it to him over that price.

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