Salvator Mundi, the world’s most expensive painting known to belong to Leonardo da Vinci, turned out not to have been made by an Italian painter. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bought the painting for $450,000.
A Documentary in France about the painting ‘Salvator Mundi’, known as the work of Leonardo da Vinci, which won the title of ‘world’s most expensive painting’ at a record price of $450 million at an auction in 2017, has confirmed that the painting does not belong entirely to the Italian painter as it is thought. The identity of the buyer, who paid a fortune for the painting after the auction, was initially kept secret, later revealed to be Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The famous painting, also known as the ‘Male Mona Lisa’, depicting Jesus, was made in Da Vinci’s workshop but “the painter only contributed to the painting”, raising suspicions that the painting would not be shown at any planned events.
The documentary ‘The Savior for Sale’, which will be released in France next week, sheds light on the diplomatic traffic between French and Saudi authorities about the painting since the auction.
Officials at the Louvre Museum, who spoke on the record by hiding their names in the documentary, said that after a large-scale investigation, they were “confident that Da Vinci did not paint the painting entirely.” French officials were deeply concerned about the diplomatic crisis between the two countries after it became clear that the painting did not belong to Da Vinci. Saudi officials demanded that France “resolve the case in other ways and hide that the painting does not belong entirely to Da Vinci.”
It has been discussed before whether the painting is original. British experts who first examined the painting, which was purchased in 2005, said it was the original Da Vinci work.