World's most expensive painting, Leonardo's Salvador Mundi currently in a Saudi yacht

Mohammed bin Salman

Mohammed bin Salman

There are many questions surrounding the world's most expensive painting, Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi, after it was sold for a record-smashing US$450m at Christie's NY salesroom in 2017.

On Monday, Artnet, an art industry news service, reported that the 500-year-old painting was being kept on Prince Mohammed's €500m (£440m) 134m yacht, Serene. Sign-up now and enjoy one (1) week free access!

Liz Sly, the Beirut bureau chief for the Washington Post, highlighted that earlier Riyadh had "insisted" that a Da Vinci painting had been purchased for the Abu Dhabi Louvre. A recent article published on Guardian reports that Carmen Bambach from Metropolitan Museum of Art saying she was wrongly referenced in Christie's catalogue as attributing the painting to the artist alone. Then it went missing.

The Saudis insisted that the Salvator Mundi, supposedly a Da Vinci, had been bought for the Abu Dhabi Louvre.

Turns out, the work was whisked to bin Salman's yacht the Serene, Artnet reported, citing two sources.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Bandar Al-Jaloud/Saudi Royal Palace/AFP The Saudi government's Center for International Communication didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ben Lewis, author of The Last Leonardo, said he believes the owners had been "put off by experts who have expressed doubt about the painting's authenticity", according to The Telegraph.

Schachter later wrote that the painting will remain onboard the massive yacht until it is relocated to the Al-Ula governorate, which Saudi Arabia is aiming to transform into a culture and tourism destination.

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