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Revealed- The Real Buyer of ‘Salvator Mundi’: The $450 Million deal

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The moment when Christie’s auctioneer named Jussi Pylkkanen slammed down the gavel on the famous Salvator Mundi, by hammering the last and the only available painting that was created by Leonardo da Vinci in the world, for a record price of about $450.3 million. The buzz was about who has bought the painting for such a huge amount and the name has been finally revealed to be Mohammed Bin Salman, commonly known as the Prince Bader.

This Saudi royal, Prince Bader has a low public profile until now, and he is known to be the rule of the Saudi Arabia. Mohammed Bin Salman has been primarily working on the massive real estate business within his kingdom. At present, every other official news channels and magazines have named that Price Bader, also known as Mohammed Bin Salman is the new owner of this expensive décor.


Saudi Prince – Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud


Hours before the final auction happened, one among a close friend of Prince Bader, named Louvre Abu Dhabi tweeted about this particular Leonardo painting and the way it’s going to be a new step over with its new neighbourhood.

There are huge speculations going in and around about why Mohammed Bin Salman choose to bid on this particular art piece of Leonardo da Vinci. The following are some of the reasons that might be on the minds of Prince Bader before getting this painting for a huge price amount.


More of a Weird Choice

Despite Prince, Mohammed has been trying to bring up a new moderate Islam in and around Saudi Arabia, which is mostly surrounded by the Sunni country that remains under the strict ruling of Wahhabi, whose interpretation towards Islam is completely different to the ones of Prince Mohammed. The Islam which Wahhabi has been preaching with shall never allow such paintings and images within the kingdom. Even in Quran, Christ Jesus has been considered to be a Muslim prophet and a precursor to Mohammed. Many people from all around the world treated Leonardo da Vinci as the greatest of all the artists who existed in the world, and this particular portrait painting of Jesus has been recognized as the most graven image created by da Vinci in this particular genre.

Was it the best timing to grab the painting?

Days before the original sale of this particular painting happened, the Prince Mohammed has ordered to arrest more than ten princes, as well as other high profile businessmen, government officials, intellectuals, and clerics too. The famous magazines even quote that this arrest would be the midnight blitz of all the arrests. This particular move by Prince Mohammed has framed as a crackdown upon corruption and a move that was made without following any kind of formal charges or any due process.

Whatever may be the fact, the revelation about Prince Bader purchasing Leonardo’s artwork for a whopping price rate has definitely made some of the country members to remain uncomfortable. This particular $450.3 million worth purchase, which Prince Mohammed has made, clearly indicates the crackdown that exists in Saudi Arabia. The sale was said to be a one auction purchase method, which would definitely have a political ramification beyond those salesrooms.


Salvator Mundi, last available painting by Leonardo da Vinci


The Christie’s did not know much about the purchaser?

According to some official reports, the Prince Bader has not registered as one among the potential bidder to purchase this particular painting, until the final day of the sale started with. This might have left the officials to look upon the identity of the person who was about to buy the world-shattering artwork at such a high price rate. After Prince Bade made a deposit of about $100 million, the Christie’s lawyers were not able to confirm exactly from where he has got such kind of money and about the nature of his relationship with the King of Saudi Arabia. Prince Mohammed has told to the Christie’s executives that he has great wealth coming from real estate, and eventually they thought that he would be just one among the other five thousand princes who exist in the country.

While questioned about these controversies, the spokesperson told that the Christie’s shall not comment upon the identity of any of their buyers or even about the sellers until or unless they are instructed to do with.


Is the Prince an art lover?

From what most of the people know about Prince Mohammed at the moment is that, he has never been involved with any kind of ambitious projects within his kingdom, but at present, he has acquired this five-hundred-year-old precious artwork.

Cultural hub expansion

This blockbuster art acquisition that has been done by Prince Mohammed has a great geological political game that unfolds across the Middle East. Saudi Arabia’s acquisition of the artwork shall be an effort to win the cultural bragging rights and to focus more upon to create a culturally rich country in the near future.

The UAE has been trying a lot in the past few years to get established as one among the cultural hub that exists in the world, a result of which Prince Mohammed has acquired Leonardo da Vinci’s artwork. Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia are said to be in diplomatic ties along with Qatar for many years.  

Also, Prince Mohammed might turn Saudi Arabia into an archaeological site and even make it one among the most visited tourist destination by displaying the artwork at public places. There are even talks about creating seven different palace enclaves for the royal families. Prince Mohammed has partnered along with Michael Bloomberg to launch a twenty-four hour multi-platform Arabic financial news and language service.  

There are also rumors spreading out that Prince Mohammed paid the entire purchase amount in terms of installments. Whatever may be the rumors, it’s true to an extent that Saudi Arabia has been working a lot to build their own culturally rich country and turn them into the most visited tourist destination in the near future.

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