Saudi prince is buyer of world's dearest painting, Leonardo's Salvator Mundi

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Saudi prince is buyer of world's dearest painting, Leonardo's Salvator Mundi

The art world's buzzing after the revelation that Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" which recently sold at Christie's for a record of almost $500 million will be on display at the new Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The work - known as Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World) - was sold in NY for a record $450m (£341m).

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The first museum to bear the Louvre name outside France has been billed as "the first universal museum in the Arab world" in a sign of the oil-rich emirate's global ambitions.

The painting, a representation of Jesus Christ, was bid to the highest auction price ever achieved to date for a work of art. Christie's auction house, which handled the sale, had said that it was the only known Da Vinci piece remaining in private hands.

The museum tweeted that "Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi is coming to #LouvreAbuDhabi", which was confirmed by Christie's, the auction house that handled the sale of the painting.

Media reports say it was purchased by a Saudi prince.

For weeks, the buyer's identity remained unknown but on Wednesday, records uncovered by the New York Times finally revealed Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud as the affluent art aficionado. The previous record was Pablo Picasso's Les Femmes d'Alger, which sold for $179 million.

The island will also feature the Zayed National Museum, which had signed a loan deal with the British Museum - although the arrangement has come increasingly into question due to construction delays.

Bader made the record-breaking offer for "Salvator Mundi" after 19 minutes of dueling with four other bidders at Christie's auction house in Manhattan on November 15.

Featuring a vast silver-toned dome, the Louvre Abu Dhabi was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, drawing inspiration from Arab design and evoking both an open desert and the sea. Da Vinci's La Belle Ferronnière is on loan there from the Louvre in Paris.

The painting was sold again in 1958 for only 45 pounds ($60) and then was acquired in 2005, badly damaged and partly painted over, by a consortium of art dealers who paid less than $10,000.

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