Louvre Abu Dhabi is getting $590 million da Vinci painting

Christie's employees pose in front of Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci at Christie's auction house in central London on Oct. 22 2017

The work - entitled "Salvator Mundi", sold on Wednesday, was painted five centuries ago and is the only painting by the Italian Renaissance polymath to be privately held, Efe news reported.

A Leonardo da Vinci painting of Christ that sold in NY for a record $450 million (380 million euros) is heading to a museum in the United Arab Emirates.

It's not entirely surprising, though, especially given last week's news that the Louvre in Paris is now in negotiations to secure a loan of "Salvator Mundi" for a major Leonardo exhibition slated for October 2019.

"Congratulations", Christie's said in a tweeted reply to the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Christie's representatives attempted to identify Prince Bader and his source of finances before the sale, after he gave a $100 million deposit to qualify for the auction, The Times said.

The newspaper said that the work will be lent or resold to museums, largely in the Middle East and Asia.

The sale more than doubled the previous record of $179.4m paid for Pablo Picasso's The Women of Algiers (Version O) in 2015, also in NY.

News that the painting will turn up at the Louvre Abu Dhabi does not resolve the mystery surrounding the identity of the buyer or buyers, though some had speculated that it was acquired by an Emirati museum or collector.

It was the highest auction price for any work of art. The Louvre is planning a blockbuster da Vinci exhibition for 2019, but the loans for it have not been made public.

It had sold for a mere £45 pounds in 1958, when the painting was thought to have been a copy, and was lost until it resurfaced at a regional auction in 2005.

The painting, which was part of the collection of King Charles I of England (1600-1649), had ended up in the hands of a Russian billionaire, who bought it in 2013 for $127.5 million.

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