$450 million Leonardo painting heading to new Louvre museum

Salvator Mundi Leonardo da Vinci

The museum appeared to confirm this, tweeting on Wednesday that, "Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi is coming to #LouvreAbuDhabi". The painting is purchased by an anonymous buyer for a record-breaking $450 million in NY last month.

Christie's auction house sold the work of art to an anonymous buyer, but it has recently been revealed that a Saudi prince bought Leonardo's painting.

Finally, the splashy purchase came just as Saudi Arabia's 32-year-old crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was leading a "sweeping crackdown against corruption and self-enrichment" among the country's elite, as the Times noted.

The French weekly "Le Journal du Dimanche" reported that two investment firms were behind the purchase as part of a financial arrangement involving several museums.

Through its collaboration with the Louvre in Paris and other French museums, the new gallery, the largest art museum in the Arabian peninsula, displays works by Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, contemporary Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei and Leonardo's La Belle Ferronniere.

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People visit the Louvre Museum, during the public opening day, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, November 11, 2017. Now the painting that far surpassed the former record held by Picasso's Women of Algiers (which fetched $179.4 million in 2015) has found a new home.

The newly opened Louvre Abu Dhabi made the announcement Wednesday.

The island will also feature the Zayed National Museum, which had signed a loan deal with the British Museum - although the arrangement has come increasingly into question due to construction delays.

The museum opened with some 600 pieces including items from early Mesopotamia. Under a 30-year agreement, France provides expertise, lends works of art and organizes exhibitions in return for one billion euros ($1.16 billion).

The painting of Christ - the title means "Savior of the world" - is believed to have been painted sometime after 1505 and is the only Leonardo work thought to be privately owned. It is also the only one in private hands. The painting was sold again in 1958 and then acquired in 2005 by a group of art dealers for less than $10,000. Its previous owner, Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, had complained he was overcharged for the work by a Swiss art dealer when he had paid $127.5 million for it in 2013.

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