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Da Vinci Painting worth $450 Million is heading to Louvre Abu Dhabi

07 December 2017

The work - known as Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World) - was sold in NY for a record $450m (£341m). However the identity of the buyer has remained an elusive secret with speculation now focusing on the Abu Dhabi Royals as the purchaser.

In particular, Abu Dhabi rents the Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Leonardo da Vinci and painting Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David. The Louvre Abu Dhabi said in a tweet Wednesday: "Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi is coming to #LouvreAbuDhabi".

The mystery is still evident with some rumours flying around since the work of art was sold in November.

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The newly-opened museum made the announcement on Twitter, without specifying whether it had bought the painting at auction this month.

"The word "masterpiece" barely begins to convey the rarity, importance and sublime beauty of Leonardo's painting", said Alan Wintermute from Christie's, the auction house that conducted the sale.

The work - entitled "Salvator Mundi", sold on Wednesday, was painted five centuries ago and is the only painting by the Italian Renaissance polymath to be privately held, Efe news reported.

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Salvator Mundi's path from Leonardo's workshop to the auction block at Christie's was not smooth. By this time, its authorship by Leonardo, origins and illustrious royal history had been forgotten, and Christ's face and hair were overpainted. By then the painting was generally reckoned to be the work of a follower of Leonardo and not the work of Leonardo 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. He is not known for being an art collector or incredibly wealthy, and documents viewed by the Times show that he was such a non-entity in the art scene that Christie's had to quickly figure out right before the auction if he was eligible to bid.

Salvator Mundi is worth $450 million. Rybolovlev bought it in 2013 for $127.5 million from art dealer Yves Bouvier along with some other canvases.

The 500-year-old painting's name is Latin for "Savior of the World". 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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Da Vinci Painting worth $450 Million is heading to Louvre Abu Dhabi