Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Is True Buyer of Da Vinci, WSJ Reports

Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Is True Buyer of Da Vinci, WSJ Reports

After a spectacle of a publicity campaign comparable to that of a summer blockbuster movie, Christie's expected Salvator Mundi, reportedly Leonardo da Vinci's last painting in private hands, to sell for around $100 million. The painting, one of fewer than 20 surviving by the Renaissance Master, sold for $450m at Christie's in NY on 15 November.

The identity of the buyer became something of a parlor game. In a Tweet yesterday, the museum confirmed that it's getting the painting.

The identity of the new owner of Leonardo da Vinci's mysterious masterpiece, "Salvator Mundi", has finally been revealed: a Saudi Arabian prince. This is thought to be a sign of the oil-rich emirate's global cultural ambitions. Aniconism, forbids the depiction of graven images and states that they should destroyed. Muslims may not see Jesus as the savior, but he is still considered a prophet.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi opened on November 8 in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron, who described the new museum as a 'bridge between civilizations'. Under a 30-year agreement, France provides expertise, lends works of art and organizes exhibitions in return for one billion euros ($1.16 billion). Over 600 objects and paintings have been loaned to the museum. The prince's response was that he made his money in real estate, and that he was just one of some 5,000 Saudi princes. In a record-breaking auction, however, the painting ended up going for $450 million, solidly eclipsing Picasso's $179-million Women of Algiers as the most expensive painting ever sold-and causing an outpour of backlash as many decried the triumph of marketing and branding over the quality of the actual artwork.

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He is a board member of Energy Holdings International, an energy company with business in Middle East, Asia and Americas. It is rare that a buyer is not identified following a sale. By this time, its authorship by Leonardo, origins and illustrious royal history had been forgotten, and Christ's face and hair were overpainted.

The stunning amount paid by a Saudi royal for a painting that some believe is not a genuine Da Vinci, like reports of Mohammed bin Salman's profilgacy on yachts and similar luxury items, casts in sharp doubt Riyadh's claims of cracking down on extravagence and corruption.

He had bought the painting in 2013 for $127.5 million although he later accused a Swiss art dealer of overcharging him.

The purchase of Salvator Mundi, or Saviour of the World, was shrouded in mystery and was the talk of the art world.

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