Despite Prince Bader's relatively obscure status, he is seen as a close friend of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and has become more prominent in the kingdom since the crown prince's ascension.
According to some documents obtained from Saudi Arabia, it was revealed Prince Bader's representatives did not present him as a bidder until the day before the sale of the painting took place. In September, he helped broker a deal between SRMG and Bloomberg to form the joint, Arabic-language media platform Bloomberg Al-Arabiya. The prince will not be keeping the art at home.
A Saudi prince has been revealed as the buyer of the world's most expensive painting, priced at a staggering $450 million in an auction at the world-famous Christie's Auction House in November.
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Christie's auction house sold it to an anonymous buyer last month. However, Prince Bader attended King Saud University in Riyadh around the same time or along with Prince Mohammed.
The first works on loan from the Louvre in Paris include another painting by Da Vinci: La Belle Ferronniere, one of his portraits of women.
Following the crown prince's quick rise to power, he promoted Prince Bader within the kingdom.
According to the website of a Saudi Arabian energy company, Energy Holdings International, Prince Bader was said to be "one of Saudi Arabia's youngest entrepreneurs". Pressed for more information, Prince Bader reportedly gave a terse reply, saying he was in the real estate business and was one of the country's 5,000 princes.
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He was appointed by Prince Mohammed as the governor of a newly formed commission to develop a tourist destination project led by Prince Mohammed. He was represented by Alex Rotter, who was the co-chairman of postwar and contemporary art at Christie's.
Not only was Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi the talk of the art world, but last month's news of a record-setting $450.3 million sale at auction made headlines around the globe.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi tweeted that the painting would be featured in the museum. By this time, its authorship by Leonardo, origins and illustrious royal history had been forgotten, and Christ's face and hair were overpainted.
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