The most expensive painting Da Vinci will appear in UAE

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But there's still no public information on who purchased the painting at the record-setting auction in November, when the controversial artwork went for $450.3 million United States at Christie's, making it the most expensive painting ever sold.

France agreed to lease paintings from its own museums to the Louvre in Abu Dhabi in 2007 for a sum from $800 million to $1 billion.

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Ever since the sale at Christie's, the identity of the buyer has been the most sought-after secret in the art world and beyond.

The newspaper confirmed that the Prince Bader purchased the rare painting after citing documents it had reviewed while in the midst of an investigation into Saudi Arabia's elite class, including his family and associates.

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Prince Bader did not respond to a detailed request for comment.

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

"The word "masterpiece" barely begins to convey the rarity, importance and sublime beauty of Leonardo's painting", said Alan Wintermute from Christie's, the auction house that conducted the sale.

The sale more than doubled the previous record of $179.4m paid for Pablo Picasso's The Women of Algiers (Version O) in 2015, also in NY.

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.

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The museum opened with some 600 pieces including items from early Mesopotamia. Even before becoming the world's most expensive painting, it drew huge crowds during pre-auction viewings in London, Hong Kong and San Francisco.

The 500-year-old painting, called Salvator Mundi - Latin for Saviour of the World - depicts Christ dressed in Renaissance-style robes, his right hand raised in blessing as his left hand holds a crystal orb.

Dating from the 1500s, the painting was billed as the final Leonardo work held in private hands, one of roughly 20 paintings attributed to him.

Upon re-emerging at auction in 1958, it was dismissed as a copy and sold for just £45 ($60). The seller was Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who purchased it for $127.5 million in 2013.

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