Louvre Abu Dhabi: UAE has acquired Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi
Louvre Abu Dhabi has confirmed it will display Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci after the $450 million (Dh1.65 billion) artwork was acquired by the government.
In a tweet the newly opened museum said it was looking forward to putting the masterpiece on display in Abu Dhabi.
Saudi sources confirmed to The National that western newspaper reports that the painting had been bought by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman were wrong.
Instead it is the UAE that has landed the prized work which will now go on display at the museum, which is at the heart of a fast emerging cultural district in the capital.
The 500-year-old oil painting of Jesus, went under the hammer in New York for a record-smashing $450 million including fees, four times over its pre-sale estimate and more than double the old mark for any work of art at auction.
It's is the last privately owned Da Vinci painting and one of fewer than 20 by the Renaissance artist known to exist.
Its whereabouts were unknown until it reemerged in poor condition in a Louisiana auction house in 2005.
The painting has since been restored and was on display in London last month before arriving in New York for the auction.
As the most expensive in the world, there is speculation the work will hang next to the same artist’s La Belle Ferronnière, already one of the most popular exhibits at Louvre Abu Dhabi.
For a museum newly arrived on the world cultural scene, the painting, sold at Christie’s New York only last month, is a game changer.
Christie's referred questions about the ultimate ownership of the painting to Louvre Abu Dhabi.
"Christie’s can confirm that the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi is acquiring ‘Salvator Mundi’ by Leonardo da Vinci," it said in a statement.
"We are delighted to see this remarkable painting will be available for public view at the Louvre Abu Dhabi."