'Salvatore Mundi's' mysterious buyer is Arab Prince

RIYADH SAUDI ARABIA- NOVEMBER 11  King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin A

Another mysterious fact regarding the painting was revealed when the official Twitter account of The Louver Abu Dhabi posted on Monday that the painting will be among the exhibited works in the museum.

"Salvator Mundi", a painting of Christ by Leonardo Da Vinci that was recently sold for a record US$450 million (S$606.96 million), is heading to the Louvre Abu Dhabi in a coup for the bold new museum, it announced on Wednesday (Dec 6). A spokeswoman for Christie's said it did not comment on the identities of any buyer or seller without their permission. The painting was sold November 15 for $450 million.

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.

It is the first of three museums slated to open on the emirate's Saadiyat Island, with plans also in place for an edition of New York's Guggenheim.

The report added after Prince Bader made a deposit of $100 million to qualify for the auction, Christie's lawyers reportedly questioned the prince regarding his financial sources and relationship with the crown prince.

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Neither Prince Bader nor Christie's confirmed the speculation.

The crown prince's supporters portray him as a reformer, but the campaign of extrajudicial arrests has been unprecedented for modern Saudi Arabia, worrying western governments about political stability in the world's largest oil producer, alarming rights advocates and investors about the rule of law, and roiling energy markets.

Little is known about Bader bin Abdullah, who lists his primary source of income as real estate. In addition, according to Energy Holdings ' energy Group portal, from whose governing body Prince Bader is vice-president, Saudi Arabia would have business in telecommunications, real-estate, energy and recycling sectors. However, Prince Bader attended King Saud University in Riyadh around the same time or along with Prince Mohammed. He now serves as chairman of the Riyadh-based Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG), which publishes 15 magazines and newspapers, including the Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat.

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

Prince Mohammed, in turn, has been called an admirer of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

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