$450 million Leonardo painting coming to new Louvre Abu Dhabi

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

World-record Da Vinci painting to be exhibited at Louvre Abu Dhabi

France agreed to lease paintings from its own museums to the Louvre in Abu Dhabi in 2007 for a sum from $800 million to $1 billion.

The Louvre in Abu Dhabi will receive a masterpiece of Italian master Leonardo Da Vinci The Savior of the World, which last month was bought at Christie's auction for $450 million from Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, in his collection.

The most expensive work of art in the auction history will be exhibited at the Louvre in Abu Dhabi.

The highest known sale price for any artwork had been $US300 million, for Willem de Kooning's painting, Interchange.

The newspaper said that the work will be lent or resold to museums, largely in the Middle East and Asia. It is rare that a buyer is not identified following a sale.

Salvator Mundi's path from Leonardo's workshop to the auction block at Christie's was not smooth.

It then disappeared until 1900 when it was acquired by Sir Charles Robinson as a work by Leonardo's follower, Bernardino Luini, for the Cook Collection, Doughty House, Richmond. At that time it was attributed to a Leonardo disciple, rather than to the master himself. In the dispersal of the Cook Collection, it was ultimately consigned to a sale at Sotheby's in 1958 where it sold for £45. But the auction house would not confirm whether the museum was behind the purchase.

It's not yet known exactly when the da Vinci work will be displayed at the UAE museum, which is the only other Louvre outside of Paris, but we'll keep you updated. He sued the vendor who brokered the deal for overcharging him, and now he has just sold it for $450.3 million.

Christie's capitalised on the public's interest in Leonardo - considered one of the greatest artists of all time - with a media campaign that labelled the painting The Last Da Vinci.

The work - known as Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World) - was sold in NY for a record $450m (£341m).

The 500-year-old painting, called Salvator Mundi - Latin for Saviour of the World - depicts Christ dressed in Renaissance-style robes, his right hand raised in blessing as his left hand holds a crystal orb. The painting's authenticity is still widely questioned by many experts, while the issue of overpainting, restoration and conservation will always be an underlying issue.

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