The most expensive painting Da Vinci will appear in UAE

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The move became possible after a little-known Saudi price reportedly bought the painting last month.

The announcement only partially resolves the mystery over the painting's sale last month in NY for $450.3m, with auction house Christie's steadfastly declining to identify the buyer. The crown prince of Saudi Arabia and his counterpart in Abu Dhabi enjoy a close working relationship and on 5 December their countries announced the formation of a Joint Cooperation Committee to formalise existing collaboration on military, political, economic and cultural matters. Most who practice Islam - the state region of Saudi Arabia - shun visual portrayals of its prophets.

Prince Mohammed, in turn, has been called an admirer of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

Prince Mohammed also put Prince Bader in charge of governing a commission overseeing the development of Al Ola, which contains an important archaeological site.

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.

The revelation came shortly after the newly-opened Louvre Abu Dhabi tweeted that the Salvator Mundi would soon be coming to the museum.

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Featuring a vast silver-toned dome, the Louvre Abu Dhabi was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, drawing inspiration from Arab design and evoking both an open desert and the sea. Under a 30-year agreement, France provides expertise, lends works of art and organises exhibitions in return for one billion euros ($1.16bn).

It is one of fewer than 20 paintings generally accepted as being from the Renaissance master's own hand, according to Christie's.

Meanwhile, Salvator Mundi has had a controversial history, with one expert doubting if it is still the original work of da Vinci.

Christie's said that most scholars, however, still believe that the Salvator Mundi they recently sold was the one painted by da Vinci.

New York-based art collector and da Vinci expert Robert Simon and art dealer Alexander Parish found the painting in Louisiana in 2005 and purchased it for $10,000. Bouvier, in turn, sold it to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for $127.5 million in 2014.

In 2013, a consortium of dealers including Simon, Parish and Warren Adelson sold "Salvator Mundi" for $80 million to a company owned by a Swiss businessman and art dealer Yves Bouvier, Bloomberg reported.

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