What happened to Salvator Mundi?

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Salvator Mundi, Oil on walnut, Leonardo Da Vinci, c. 1500

In 2005 an auction house in New Orleans bought a painting that proved to be one of the most sought after paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci. It was Salvator Mundi; a painting of Jesus holding a crystal globe with one hand while making the sign of the cross with the other. It is one of the few works attributed to him, which makes its price exorbitant and its artistic and historical value immeasurable. The Savior of the World was sold for 450 million (YES, you read that right!) to prince  Badr bin Abdullah. The painting was destined for the Louvre of Abu Dhabi and it was bought on behalf of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi.

The Museum postponed the unveiling of the painting via Twitter on the 3rd of September 2018.

The debut of the historical painting at the Abu Dhabi museum was to be held on September 2018. However, the Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi announced that the unveiling would be postponed for a later date. That later date, though, never came. The Louvre of Abu Dhabi hasn’t announced a date and the painting seems to be missing. It seems that after the latest auction it was sent to Zurich for an examination by an insurance company. But after the cancellation of the examination, experts and officials of both the Louvre in Paris and in Abu Dhabi seem to have lost the painting’s tracks. Not to freak you out, but there seem to be worries about the painting’s safety. Losing a Da Vinci is a valid reason for an art world freak-out. Let’s just hope that the other 19 paintings by Leonardo will remain very well guarded. We wouldn’t want a Mona Lisa drama next, would we?


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