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The most expensive painting Da Vinci will appear in UAE

07 December 2017

The new branch of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi will exhibit Leonardo da Vinci's portrait of Christ, "Salvator Mundi", which at $450.3 million became the most expensive painting ever sold at a NY auction last month.

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.

Despite Prince Bader's relatively obscure status, he is seen as a close friend of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and has become more prominent in the kingdom since the crown prince's ascension.

Prince Bader's purchase of the painting is surprising for a number of reasons, as the New York Times noted.

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Prince Bader was also made the chairman of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group, which is controlled by the Salman branch of the royal family.

The auction house said no more, and a Christie's representative declined to offer more details. The description also goes on to say Prince Bader was "active" in real estate projects in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and the Middle East for over five years.

The highest known sale price for any artwork had been 300 million dollars (£224), for Willem de Kooning's painting "Interchange".

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'.

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

It has now been revealed who paid $450 million for a painting by Leonardo da Vinci.

FILE PHOTO: "Salvator Mundi", an ethereal portrait of Jesus Christ which dates to about 1500 by Leonardo da Vinci, is on display for the media at Christie's in New York, NY, U.S., October 10, 2017. Under a 30-year agreement, France provides expertise, lends works of art and organizes exhibitions in return for one billion euros ($1.16 billion).

It is one of fewer than 20 paintings generally accepted as being from the Renaissance master's own hand, according to Christie's. By then, though, the painting's origin had been obscured due to overpainting and it was credited to da Vinci's follower Bernardino Luini. It re-emerged in the 1950s, but was written off as a copy and sold for £45 or $60, according to CNN. Bouvier, in turn, sold it to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for $127.5 million in 2014.

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The most expensive painting Da Vinci will appear in UAE