“Salvator Mundi”, the world’s most expensive painting by Leonardo Da Vinci which sold for $450 million in 2017, has disappeared, the New York Times reported.
In November 2017 the painting was sold for $450.3 million during an auction held in New York by an anonymous bidder who it was later discovered was Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman.
Almost a month after the auction, the Abu Dhabi culture department announced that it had acquired “Salvator Mundi” for display in its Louvre Museum, however the scheduled unveiling of the painting in September 2018 was postponed without explanation, the paper said.
The Abu Dhabi culture department did not answer the paper’s questions about the painting while the Louvre in Paris said it cannot locate the painting.
Dianne Modestini, a professor at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, described the incident as “tragic” adding that “to deprive the art lovers and many others who were moved by this picture – a masterpiece of such rarity – is deeply unfair”.
Meanwhile, Martin Kemp, an art historian, has described the painting as “a kind of religious version of the ‘Mona Lisa’”.