The world’s most famous painting “ The Mona Lisa” painted by prodigious polymath Leonardo Da Vinci who flourished in Florence around 15th century. His work “Salvator Mundi” meaning from Latin “Savior of the world” is one of the very few paintings which is still in private collection.
The people are speculating that precious artwork is missing. This is not the first time, Salvator Mundi is missing in its last 500 history, this is the second time. Some specialists have the view that “Salvator Mundi” is not even the original version of the painting.
The painting of Jesus was auctioned off on 15 November 2017 in New York to Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan Al Saud, who acted on the behalf of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism for $450.3 million. The record of this auction set itself to be the most expensive public auction ever.
The prince splurged money like anything, without even thinking what his countrymen will say on buying the painting of Jesus on such a big price.
It was announced that painting would be unveiled in September 2018 in Louvre branch in Abu Dhabi, but it was cancelled without providing any logical reasons.
Abu Dhabi Culture department is not giving any clear answers about the missing artwork, and Louvre Abu Dhabi stated that they don’t know where the painting is, according to the reports of The Times.
The Louvre in Paris also could not locate the “Salvator Mundi”, an official reported.
“It is tragic,” said Dianne Modestini, a professor at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, told the paper.
She said, “To deprive the art lovers and many others who were moved by this picture—a masterpiece of such rarity—is deeply unfair.”
Martin Kemp, an Oxford art historian, said the painting is “a kind of religious version of the ‘Mona Lisa,’” and the painter’s “strongest statement of the elusiveness of the divine.”
Until 2011, the painting was believed to be painted by Boltraffio, Da Vinci’s pupil. In 1958, Sir Francis Cook, sold it at auction for £45. The painting came in limelight again in 2011.
In 2011, by consensus decision, facilitated by National Gallery director Nicholas Penny, the attribution of Leonardo Da Vinci was confirmed.
“It’s all about that painting. It’s a divine image of Christ by the greatest artist in Western culture, and therefore I think it captured the hearts and minds of many people for whom the picture means so many different things,” auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen said as it was being auctioned.
“It is not just a Leonardo, it goes beyond that. It’s a divine image, and that’s very important to be aware of and to be sensitive.”
“With these extraordinary moments in life, you have these pauses,” Pylkkanen said. “You have to give people time. People are deciding in that moment what their plan is, and it’s not just about the money.