Da Vinci painting is on Saudi Crown Prince's yacht

Lawrence Kim
June 12, 2019

"Salvator Mundi" - the rare painting whose whereabouts have been shrouded in secrecy since it sold for a record-busting $450 million in 2017 - is being kept on the superyacht of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Artnet.com reported on Monday.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Bandar Al-Jaloud/Saudi Royal Palace/AFP The Saudi government's Center for International Communication didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The whereabouts of the painting, which several experts dispute is by the Italian master himself, has been a mystery since it was sold for $450m at an auction in NY in 2017.

But citing several sources including two involved in the sale, Schachter claims the painting "was whisked away in the middle of the night on MBS's plane and relocated to his yacht, the Serene".

The painting, which was expected to be exhibited at the Louvre in France later this year, disappeared after suspicions were raised that the work had come from "the workshop" of Da Vinci and may not have been painted by the artist himself - something which its new guardians knew could downgrade its value significantly.

"We look forward to welcoming people from near and far to witness its beauty".

MarineTraffic, an app that tracks vessels, shows that Serene is now moored at Egypt's Port Said.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that the painting was bought by Saudi prince Badr bin Abdullah, who acted in the name of the Saudi crown prince, known by his initials MBS.

The evocative work, dubbed the "male Mona Lisa" because of its similarities to the iconic painting, was said to have been purchased by another prince, acting as a proxy for bin Salman at the Christie's auction.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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