It’s official. Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, the enigmatic Christ painting which sold at Christie’s New York for an epic $450 million last November, will go on show at the Louvre Abu Dhabi mega-museum from September 18 this year, the museum has confirmed.
Confusion still surrounds the record-busting purchase. The New York Times reported it was purchased by the Saudi prince as a gift, while the UAE has claimed that its own Department of Culture and Tourism bought it through a proxy buyer. In March, the Daily Mail even had the outrageous yarn that Saudi and Emirati buyers accidentally bid against one another, with Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman ultimately swapping it to Abu Dhabi for a yacht.
In any case, now the 83-day countdown until it is officially unveiled begins. When it arrives, it will be incorporated as a centerpiece of the UAE institution’s collection. “Within Louvre Abu Dhabi’s chronological universal narrative, the artwork will be placed at its relevant point in history, where the museum explores the modern era,” a spokesperson for the museum told artnet News.
“This is a very important and exciting moment for Abu Dhabi as we witness a masterpiece by one of the most important artists in history coming to our city,” Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism told local English-language paper The National. “Salvator Mundi highlights the inclusive nature of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s narrative and Abu Dhabi’s mission to promote a message of acceptance, and openness.” Read more