Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Record Da Vinci painting to be exhibited at Louvre Abu Dhabi

Record Da Vinci painting to be exhibited at Louvre Abu Dhabi

The New York Times reported that the victor of the sale at Christie's on November 15 was a Saudi prince, Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, citing documents provided to the newspaper from inside Saudi Arabia.

He was the chairman (appointed by Prince Mohammed) of Saudi Research and Marketing Group, the publisher of Arab newspaper Al Share Al Awsat and other publications. In September, he helped broker a deal between SRMG and Bloomberg to form the joint, Arabic-language media platform Bloomberg Al-Arabiya.

Prince Bader belonged to a remote branch of the royal family and had no history of being an art collector, according to a report by the New York Times. It is home to the first place in Saudi Arabia designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Al-Hijr archaeological site. According to documents provided to the auction house and reviewed by The New York Times, Prince Bader listed that his fortune comes from "real estate".

Christie's sold it to an anonymous buyer last month, and said it did not comment on the identities of buyers or sellers without their permission. Russian billionaire Dmitry E. Rybolovlev was the previous owner, who paid $127.5 million in 2013. They both attended the King Saud University, Riyadh, at the same time.

Following the crown prince's quick rise to power, he promoted Prince Bader within the kingdom.

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

Bader is one of more than 5,000 princes in Saudi Arabia.

He was appointed by Prince Mohammed as the governor of a newly formed commission to develop a tourist destination project led by Prince Mohammed.

'Congratulations, ' Christie's said in a tweeted reply to the Louvre Abu Dhabi. He was represented by Alex Rotter, who was the co-chairman of postwar and contemporary art at Christie's.

A painting of Jesus believed to be by Leonardo da Vinci that shattered auction records when it was sold for $450 million last month will go on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the museum announced on Twitter. By then, though, the painting's origin had been obscured due to overpainting and it was credited to da Vinci's follower Bernardino Luini. This could be because Prince Mohammed is a supporter and ally of Abu Dhabi's crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

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