March 20, 2018

Is The Saudi Crown Prince Mystery Buyer Of $450M Da Vinci Painting?

08 December 2017, 04:27 | Taylor George

Is The Saudi Crown Prince Mystery Buyer Of $450M Da Vinci Painting?

Christie's employees pose in front of Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci at Christie's auction house in central London on Oct. 22 2017

It has been reported that the crown prince was the buyer of the painting by Leonardo da Vinci that broke records and raised eyebrows when it was sold for $450.3m (£334m) at Christie's in November.

Making a record-breaking art purchase in his own name might be awkward for the crown prince because he is leading a sweeping crackdown on corruption and self-enrichment by the elite of the kingdom - including some of his royal cousins. But according to U.S. intelligence reports, Bader bought it on behalf of the crown prince, who is a distant relative.

The highest price ever paid for a work of art at auction had been $179.4m for Pablo Picasso's painting Women of Algiers (Version O). The buyer, it turns out, was the magnificently named Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud-one of Saudi Arabia's 5,000 princes, who has no previous history as a major art collector, appears to be rarely photographed, and maintains an air of secrecy when it comes to his apparently massive wealth.

The painting will go in the new branch of the Louvre at Abu Dhabi.

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A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the mystery buyer of the $450.3million Leonardo da Vinici painting of Christ that is now heading to the Louvre Abu Dhabi in a coup for the bold new museum. Prior to the auction, Christie's lawyers questioned him about his ties to the royal family and the source of his money, which he told them came from real estate.

As for Prince Bader, when he's not palling around with Prince Mohammed, he also works on side projects like partnerships with those ranging from Verizon to Michael Bloomberg, as well as large program he founded to manage the country's recycling. But the Times investigation found that he certainly owns more than property. And this year, the crown prince's father, King Salman, named Prince Bader to run a commission to develop the area around an archaeological site under a plan by the crown prince, who is chairman of the commission.

He is a board member of Energy Holdings International, an energy company with business in Middle East, Asia and Americas.

The painting is called "Salvator Mundi" which is Latin for "savior of the world".

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