Muslim Prince Spends $450 Million On A Painting Of Jesus

Saudi prince is buyer of world's dearest painting, Leonardo's Salvator Mundi

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.

Dating back to approximately 1500, "Salvator Mundi" smashed auction records when it went under the hammer at Christie's NY last month.

A Saudi prince has been revealed as the buyer of the world's most expensive painting, priced at a staggering $450 million in an auction at the world-famous Christie's Auction House in November.

A spokeswoman for Christie's offered her congratulations to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, telling CNN that she was "delighted that the piece is going to be on view in public".

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The Louvre Abu Dhabi - a franchise of the Paris original - is a symbol of the oil-rich sheikhdom's drive to boost its "soft power" credentials.

He described the artwork as, "The Holy Grail of old master paintings".

Da Vinci died in 1519 and there are fewer than 20 of his paintings in existence.

The museum's opening has also coincided with a period of heightened political tension in the Gulf and the broader Middle East.

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"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.

Prince Badar's purchase of the image of Christ comes at a time when elite Saudi's are highly concerned about an ongoing "purge" of influential national figures at the bequest of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman.

Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi", or "Savior of the World", dating from around 1500.

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. Even before becoming the world's most expensive painting, it drew huge crowds during pre-auction viewings in London, Hong Kong and San Francisco.

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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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