Saudi crown prince bought $450m da Vinci

2017-12-08 22:05
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (Saudi Press Agency via AP)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (Saudi Press Agency via AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the actual buyer of a painting by Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci that sold for a record-breaking $450m at auction in November, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The young and dynamic crown prince, known by his initials MBS, used an intermediary to buy the much-sought-after painting of Christ, Salvator Mundi, the newspaper reported, citing US intelligence and other unnamed sources.

The son of Saudi King Salman is seen to be progressively consolidating his power, and is the architect of a wide-ranging plan dubbed Vision 2030 to bring social and economic change to his country's oil-dependent economy.

He is also seen as the mastermind of last month's rounding-up of more than 200 princes, ministers and businessmen in a sweeping anti-corruption purge.

The painting – one of fewer than 20 works generally accepted as being by the Renaissance master, according to Christie's – was bought by little-known Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, reports say.

The Journal reported that Bader was the nominal buyer, but said MBS was identified in US intelligence reports as the true owner.

"He is a proxy for MBS," an unnamed figure in the Gulf art world told the Journal.

To be displayed

American officials are keeping close tabs on the crown prince, the paper said, citing unnamed sources.

On Wednesday, the Louvre Abu Dhabi announced that the record-breaking Da Vinci painting would be displayed there.

The reports come shortly after the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia announced the formation of a new military and economic committee, separate from the Gulf Cooperation Council.

A visitor takes a photo of the painting 'Salvator Mundi' by Leonardo da Vinci at Christie's New York Auction House.(Drew Angerer, Getty Images via AFP)

In recent years, Qatar has been the biggest player in the Gulf art world, but in June, Saudi Arabia and some of its allies broke off diplomatic and trade relations with Doha, which they accuse of supporting extremist movements.

Salvator Mundi – dated to around 1500 – is the last known Da Vinci in the hands of a private collector. It was long believed to be a copy but was finally authenticated about a dozen years ago.

Read more on:    mohammed bin salman  |  saudi arabia  |  art

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Keep your family and pets safe from rabies

The recent outbreak of rabies in South Africa has brought to light how terrible this disease is and how as pet parents we need to be vigilant to keep our families safe.

 

Paws

5 scientific benefits of owning a cat
Why we love cats
8 great natural remedies for your pet
How to clean your dog’s eyes
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.