$450M Leonardo painting heading to new Louvre museum

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Prince Badar's purchase of the image of Christ comes at a time when elite Saudi's are highly concerned about an ongoing "purge" of influential national figures at the bequest of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman.

We now know that the Louvre Abu Dhabi is going to exhibit Leonardo Da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi", which sold last month in a Christie's Contemporary sale in NY for a cool $450 million.

The buyer of the painting was revealed through certain documents reviewed by the New York Times. Also, the prince has not commented regarding his recent purchase.

The work was owned by Russian Billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who reportedly bought the oil painting for a staggering $127.5 million in 2013. In fact, Prince Bader now serves as the chairman of Saudi Research and Marketing Group, which was traditionally controlled directly by the crown prince's family.

As auctioneers in NY watched on disbelief, the bidding war over Salvator Mundi far outstripped the original "conservative" estimate of $100 million.

He and Prince Mohammed, 32, both attended King Saud University in Riyadh around the same time.

He was appointed by Prince Mohammed as the governor of a newly formed commission to develop a tourist destination project led by Prince Mohammed. The description also goes on to say Prince Bader was "active" in real estate projects in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and the Middle East for over five years.

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According to the website of a Saudi Arabian energy company, Energy Holdings International, Prince Bader was said to be "one of Saudi Arabia's youngest entrepreneurs".

'Congratulations, ' Christie's said in a tweeted reply to the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The website also added Prince Bader was one of the "founding members" of a large recycling business that presently has the world's largest waste management and recycling facility. He was represented by Alex Rotter, who was the co-chairman of postwar and contemporary art at Christie's.

A Leonardo Da Vinci painting that sold for a record $450 million at auction is heading to the new Louvre in Abu Dhabi, according to the museum.

Da Vinci died in 1519 and there are fewer than 20 of his paintings in existence.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened on November 11, has been one of the "most aggressive buyers on the global art market over the last decade", according to Bloomberg.

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