Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi reaches Abu Dhabi Louvre on rowdy waves
Prince Bin Salman, who is recently in news for his tumultuous way of transforming the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hit yet another hotspot lately. In the recent auction at Christie’s, it was revealed that he bought the Salvator Mundi, the famous painting of Jesus by Leonardo da Vinci. This painting is presently one of the most expensive artworks sold at a price of whopping USD 450 million. Buying the most expensive painting is certainly a great news, but this deal could lead to more interesting outcomes, pertaining to the buyer.
Saudi Arabia is presently through a transformation under Prince Salman, who vowed to turn the Middle East country to moderate Islamic nation breaking away from orthodox and radical Islam. In the drive to this radical change, the prince organized several military coups, while delimiting the power of Muslim clerics. He also enacted new laws opening the nation to modernity. This include introducing movie theaters, allowing women to drive and so on.
Now, the painting of Jesus Christ might bring another eerie to radical Islamic clerics and groups. The painting glorifies Christ, who the Muslim believes to be a prophet. Furthermore, conservative Islamic scholars has been vocal and strong against any for artwork related to the divine or spirituality. The situation might aggravate as the painting would be displayed publicly at Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The way Salvator was bought by Prince Salman also raised certain questions. Apparently, the prince did not want to reveal his identity. The painting was bid by Badr bin Abdullah al Saud, another Saudi prince, on behalf of Abu Dhabi Culture Ministry. However, it was latter found out that he was in fact, only an intermediary working for Prince Salman. Only after the true buyer was revealed by US intelligence services, Louvre Abu Dhabi issued a statement that the Culture Ministry has acquired the painting.