Wednesday, 12 June 2019
When the world-famous "Salvator Mundi" painting was sold to an anonymous bidder for about $450 million at the end of 2017, the art world erupted in speculation. Who was the buyer? And what did the sale mean for future generations of art enthusiasts seeking to see it?
Soon, there were reassurances that the painting - which has been attributed to Leonardo da Vinci despite some expert skepticism - would soon be displayed in the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which was inaugurated the same month as the painting was sold.
But until today, the famous painting of Jesus never appears to have made it there. An official unveiling date was postponed last year, but a new date was never set. Rumors over its whereabouts mounted and many of them soon involved Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. One of his close allies was believed to have been behind the 2017 purchase, the New York Times reported that year.
Now, an art market website, Artnet, claims to have located the missing painting on the private superyacht Serene, which was reportedly bought by the Saudi crown prince too.If confirmed, the Artnet report that cites several unnamed sources would suggest that the painting is indeed in Saudi possession and that suspicions that "Salvator Mundi" might not make it to the Louvre Abu Dhabi are correct.