WORLDS MOST EXPENSIVE PAINTING TO BE DISPLAYED AT LOUVRE ABU DHABI
Updated: Apr 26, 2019
Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece Salvator Mundi, the world’s most expensive painting which sold for $450 million last year obliterating the previous world record for the most expensive work of art sold at auction is to be displayed at Louvre Abu Dhabi this autumn followed by a loan to Louvre Paris in 2019.
The first da Vinci on permament display in the Middle East
Salvator Mundi will be the first painting by Leonardo on permanent display in the Middle East – indeed, anywhere outside of Europe and the United States – and is a coup for the young museum, which opened last November after agreeing to pay France $525m (£407m) for the use of the “Louvre” name for the next 30 years and six months, plus another $750m (£582m) to hire French managers to oversee 300 loaned works of art.
It also means that for a time, Louvre Abu Dhabi will join an elite group of five or six institutions worldwide that have two Leonardo paintings on show: the museum currently has Leonardo's La Belle Ferronniere on loan from the Musee du Louvre. That work is expected to return to Paris in November. There are only 24 paintings widely accepted to be by Leonardo in the world, with another eight under discussion.
The arrangement behind the Salvator Mundi, perhaps befitting the painting's remarkable provenance, remains unusual: the painting is in the collection of Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT), and will be on long-term loan to Louvre Abu Dhabi. After its initial unveiling in Abu Dhabi, it will travel to the Musee du Louvre for a planned Leonardo show marking the 500th anniversary of the artist's death. This will reflect a new stage in the relationship between Abu Dhabi and Paris, with the UAE loaning works to Europe, rather than the other way around. The Musee du Louvre show opens in October 2019, and when it closes in February 2020, the painting will return on a permanent basis to Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Whilst an initial date was set for the unveiling for 18th September the Louvre Abu Dhabi has announced a delayed with a new date yet to be announced.