Da Vinci sold for US$450m headed for Louvre Abu Dhabi museum

Da Vinci sold for US$450m headed for Louvre Abu Dhabi museum

Attendants last month at a New York City art sale gasped after an anonymous buyer put up a baffling $450.3 million for Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" - making it the most expensive painting ever sold at auction.

The painting is expected to arrive at the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, a museum in the United Arab Emirates. Hyperallergic has reached out to the museum for details, but has not yet received any response.

Salvator Mundi - the painting depicting Christ by Leonardo Da Vinci recently auctioned for a record $450m - is heading to the Louvre Abu Dhabi in a coup for the new museum. It's not entirely surprising, though, especially given last week's news that the Louvre in Paris is now in negotiations to secure a loan of "Salvator Mundi" for a major Leonardo exhibition slated for October 2019.

But now the painting, which has been mired in controversy over its authenticity, will become the big draw at the Louvre Abu Dhabi - supposedly its answer to the Louvre Paris' seminal work, the Mona Lisa.

Christie's has steadfastly declined to say who bought the artwork, but confirmed its destination on Wednesday, at least partly solving the mystery.

Bader bin Abdullah was identified in documents reviewed by the New York Times as the buyer of the painting, which was sold at Christie's in New York on November 15.

The newspaper said that the work will be lent or resold to museums, largely in the Middle East and Asia.

The museum opened with some 600 pieces including items from early Mesopotamia.

Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci. The result obliterated previous world records for an art sale of any kind, including the auction high of US$179.4 million for a Pablo Picasso painting sold in 2015.

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

In 1958, it was sold at auction in London for $60, BBC reported.

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