The Louvre in Abu Dhabi admits: the Salvator Mundi is «missing»

Leonardo Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi missing painting

Not later than ten days ago the director of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, Manuel Rabaté, interviewed in Dubai by the Corriere della Sera sported a smile from Mona Lisa and the enigmatic look of St. John the Baptist. «The Salvator Mundi? It is not ours, the decision to expose it is not up to us, but to the Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi “. Convenient and handshake. Not a word more, the most absolute mystery reigns on the painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci sold by Christie’s for the record amount of 450.3 million dollars in 2017. And even now, on the five hundredth anniversary of the death of the genius from Vinci (May 2, 1519), when any museum in the world would make false papers to have a Leonardo (original) to be exhibited, only questions remain about the masterpiece: where did it end up? When will it be exhibited? What condition is it in? Who is the real owner (the one who beat everyone at the auction with that astronomical offer is rumored to be an intermediary of the Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman, at the center of the story linked to the death of the journalist Khashoggi)?

Whether it is an international plot worthy of a novel, the New York Times now stresses: anonymous sources at the Louvre in Abu Dhabi say they do not know where the painting is; the Louvre in Paris, which would (so much) expose it for the autumn celebrations, “is unable to locate it”; the elusive buyer later recognized as Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud two months after the auction became the first Minister of Culture in Saudi history; the relations between Prince Bin Salman with Mohammed Bin Zayed, prince of the Abu Dhabi crown, are very close (so he lent him the picture? He gave it to him? Sold?).

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