Auction house Christie's confirms Abu Dhabi culture arm acquires Da Vinci

People take pictures of the painting Salvator Mundi during a public preview ahead of the auction. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Christie's confirmed on Friday that the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism acquired Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi.

It is the first statement from the auction house about the acquirer of the work, which sold for a record US$450 million (S$600 million).

The statement by a company spokesman followed a press release issued earlier in the day by the culture department, which said the painting will be displayed at the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Christie's declined to comment on a report in the Wall Street Journal yesterday that said the painting was purchased by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

The newspaper said the Crown Prince used a proxy to handle the acquisition: Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud.

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