A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the mystery buyer of the $450.3million Leonardo da Vinci painting of Christ that is now heading to the Louvre Abu Dhabi in a coup for the bold new museum.
Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud shelled out the staggering amount on da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ during an auction last month at Christie’s in New York City to make it the most expensive painting ever sold.
The New York Times confirmed that Prince Bader purchased the rare painting after citing documents it had reviewed while in the midst of an investigation into Saudi Arabia’s elite class, including his family and associates.
Prince Bader is not well-known as an art collector and comes from a remote branch of the royal family.
The expensive price tag for the painting is now raising questions over who has been both targeted and spared in the Saudi regime’s far-reaching corruption crackdown.
For several weeks, dozens of elites and even some royal family members have been imprisoned at hotels in the country amid Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ostensible crusade against the perceived self-enrichment in the conservative kingdom.
However, Prince Bader has not been targeted in the crackdown and some have speculated that is because he is reportedly a close friend and associate of Prince Mohammed – the Crown Prince.
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Source Credit: Daily Mail