This particular prince reportedly did not have a history of collecting art and was a friend of Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The newly-opened Louvre Abu Dhabi made the announcement in a tweet on Wednesday, Dec. 6. Louvre Abu Dhabi is a joint project between the French government and the city of Abu Dhabi, to which Saudi's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is a close ally. The canvas will appear in Abu Dhabi.
Christie's has steadfastly declined to say who bought the artwork, but confirmed its destination on Wednesday, at least partly solving the mystery. As the Times points out, in July the king appointed Prince Bader as governor of a new commission led by Prince Mohammed and charged with developing the Al Ola region into a tourist destination.
Bader is one of more than 5,000 princes in Saudi Arabia.
Salvator Mundi's staggering record eclipses the previous podium standings - which, adjusted for modern day pricings - include Interchange by Willem de Kooning which sold for $300 million in 2015, followed by The Card Players by Paul Cezanne which went for $250 million in 2011, followed by Nafea Faa Ipoipo by Paul Gauguin in third place, which sold for $210 million in 2014.
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.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi opened on November 8 in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron, who described the new museum as a 'bridge between civilizations'.
Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi", or "Savior of the World", dating from around 1500. Under a 30-year agreement, France provides expertise, lends works of art and organizes exhibitions in return for one billion euros ($1.16 billion).
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. The painting is purchased by an anonymous buyer for a record-breaking $450 million in NY last month. It was sold for just thousands in 2005 but was bought again in 2013 for $127.5 million by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev.