Prince Bader bought record-breaking $450 million Leonardo Da Vinci painting.

According to The New York Times, the painting was bought by Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, said to be a close friend of Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

The newspaper said it had seen documents confirming that Prince Bader bought the work when it sold at auction in New York for a record-breaking $450 million last month.

The little-known royal is not known to be an art collector and it is understood he had to provide a $100 million deposit to qualify for the auction at Christie’s. He is said to now be paying for the piece in six instalments.

The £1billion Louvre Abu Dhabi opened last month in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron, who described the new museum as a ‘bridge between civilizations.’

It announced its coup on Twitter, writing: “Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi is coming to #LouvreAbuDhabi’, alongside an image of the 500-year-old work.

The painting went on public display at the National Gallery in 2011 after being declared the first newly discovered Da Vinci painting in a century.

It had sold for just £45 in 1958, when it was thought to have been a copy, and was lost until resurfacing at a regional auction in 2005.

Bidding in New York started at $100 million and crept up in $5 million instalments, eventually clinching the record price to audible gasps in the auction room.

A spokeswoman for Christie’s said it did not comment on the identities of any buyers or sellers without their permission

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