WASHINGTON: Since its sale to a record $ 450 million, the whereabouts of Salvator Mundi, said to be painted by Leonardo da Vinci, has become one of the greatest mysteries in the art world.
On Monday (June 10), art dealer Kenny Schachter from London, writing to Artnews, offered answers: The painting now resides on the giant yacht of the powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Since its record sale at Christie's in 2017, painting, in which Jesus Christ is described emerging from the darkness, blessing the world with one hand while holding a transparent globe in the other, has never been shown in public, raising doubts about your property. , whereabouts and authenticity.
Many art experts are divided over whether the painting is genuine, saying it was not painted personally by the Italian master, but rather by his workshop.
The Wall Street Journal reported for the first time that the painting was bought by Saudi Prince Badr bin Abdullah, who acted on behalf of the Saudi Crown Prince, known by his initials MBS.
Riadi has never confirmed or denied the report.
AFP was unable to corroborate Schachter's column, and in a nod to the opaque nature of international art sales, he wrote: "In the dark waters of the Middle East, nothing is absolutely clear."
But quoting several sources, including two involved in the sale, Schachter claims that the painting "was taken in the middle of the night on the MBS plane and transferred to its yacht, the Serene."
After saying that the painting was originally found in shards and had to be rebuilt before his auction, he asks, "What harm could the occasional squirt of sea water?"
Schachter later wrote that the painting will remain on board the huge yacht until it is transferred to the province of Al-Ula, which Saudi Arabia aims to transform into a cultural and tourist destination.