The most expensive painting Da Vinci will appear in UAE

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The announcement follows the auction at Christie's NY last month where the painting fetched a premium-inclusive $450m, the highest sum ever bid for a work of art.

Dating back to approximately 1500, "Salvator Mundi" smashed auction records when it went under the hammer at Christie's NY last month.

A Leonardo da Vinci painting of Christ that sold in NY for a record $US450 million ($591 million) is heading to a museum in the United Arab Emirates.

A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of the world's most expensive painting, priced at $450 million.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is affiliated with the Paris original, opened in November, costing more than $1.3 billion to construct.

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But The New York Times reported that, according to documents it reviewed, the mystery buyer was a little-known Saudi prince.

The newspaper said that the work will be lent or resold to museums, largely in the Middle East and Asia.

The painting is now heading to the recently opened Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum (above) to go on display.

The organization behind the museum became one of the most aggressive buyers on the global art market over the last decade.

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.

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He is a friend and associate of the country's 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

The painting's previous owner, Dmitry E. Rybolovlev, a Russian billionaire, had paid $127.5 million for the painting in 2013, less than a third of its sale price last month, and he is still locked in litigation with the dealer who sold it to him over that price.

"We are delighted that the work will again be on public view", a Christie's spokesperson said of the record-setting painting.

Badar was reportedly so unknown to Christie's - the auction house in New York City that sold the painting - that the officials at the art house were still trying to confirm the prince's identity even after he made a $100 million deposit to qualify for the auction.

Salvator Mundi has a controversial history, with at least one expert doubting that it is the work of Renaissance master da Vinci.

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