Muslim Prince Spends $450 Million On A Painting Of Jesus


Prince Bader, a friend of Saudi Arabia's young crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, is not known as a major art collector, but has extensive dealings in the real estate, telecommunications, and recycling industries in Saudi Arabia, according to his profile on the website of the company Energy Holdings International, on whose board of directors he once served.

The buyer of the most expensive painting in the world, the "Salvator Mundi" by Leonardo da Vinci, was found to be Saudi Arabian prince, Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud. The prince will not be keeping the art at home.

The newly opened Louvre Abu Dhabi made the announcement on Wednesday.

The Times said the huge purchase comes at a curious time for Saudi Arabia when Prince Mohammed cracked down on more than 200 of the richest Saudi princes, businessmen, and government officials after the country had been pressed by low oil prices. This could be because Prince Mohammed is a supporter and ally of Abu Dhabi's crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

At the time, dealers were unable to verify the authenticity of the Salvator Mundi - unaware they were handling what auction house Christie's said was "the male Mona Lisa". Christie's declined to say whether the museum bought the painting.

Bader is one of more than 5,000 princes in Saudi Arabia.

The sale more than doubled the previous record of $179.4 million paid for Pablo Picasso's "The Women of Algiers (Version O)" in 2015, also in NY.

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The presence of Salvator Mundi at The Louvre Abu Dhabi will be a great draw.

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

The Museum already houses one of Leonardo's finest works. The report stated the price of the painting went up to $400 million, which ended the auction with Prince Bader winning the bid.

The painting, dubbed Salvator Mundi or Savior of the World, depicts Jesus Christ.

Members of Christie's staff pose for pictures next to Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" painting in London, October 24, 2017. It re-emerged in the 1950s, but was written off as a copy and sold for £45 or $60, according to CNN.

Its latest sale was initiated by Russian tycoon Dmitry Rybolovlev, the boss of football club AS Monaco. He sued the vendor who brokered the deal for overcharging him, and now he has just sold it for $450.3 million.