“Salvator Mundi,” the painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci that sold for a world record $450.3 million last month, will go on view at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The recently opened outpost of the Parisian museum in the United Arab Emirates made the announcement today on Twitter and Instagram, but offered no additional information. Hyperallergic has reached out to the museum for details, but has not yet received any response.
News that the painting will turn up at the Louvre Abu Dhabi does not resolve the mystery surrounding the identity of the buyer or buyers, though some had speculated that it was acquired by an Emirati museum or collector. It’s not entirely surprising, though, especially given last week’s news that the Louvre in Paris is currently in negotiations to secure a loan of “Salvator Mundi” for a major Leonardo exhibition slated for October 2019.
Update, 12/6/2017, 3pm EST: In a tweet, the auction house Christie’s — which sold “Salvator Mundi” — congratulated the Louvre Abu Dhabi, saying that the painting “is going to its new home.” However, Bloomberg’s Katya Kazakina reported that the auction house had declined to say whether or not the museum was the painting’s buyer.
Update, 12/6/2017, 6:30pm EST: The New York Times is reporting that Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, a Saudi prince, has been identified as the buyer of Leonardo’s “Salvator Mundi.”
Update, 12/8/2017, 12:45pm EST: After reports that “Salvator Mundi” had been bought by an obscure Saudi prince or the nation’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, the Louvre Abu Dhabi announced today that the painting was acquired by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi for the museum’s collection.