Yesterday it was revealed that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has shelled out $450m, not for a multi-billion dollar tech company, but a painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
The “Salvator Mundi” was reportedly purchased by proxy, via a lesser-known prince named Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed and, at $450m, it’s the most anyone has ever paid for a painting.
And Saudi Arabia is not pleased
The country is currently in the midst of a sweeping anti-corruption crackdown, and critics have slammed the prince for making such a lavish purchase, as the attorney general continues to expose prominent Saudi Arabians for over $100b in embezzlement.
Plus, the painting may not even be real!
Jacques Franck, a da Vinci specialist, told the New York Times that the composition of the painting doesn’t match up to Leo’s signature style.
“[da Vinci] preferred twisted movement. It’s a good studio work with a little Leonardo at best, and it’s very damaged.”
But when you’re a Saudi Arabian prince, what does it matter?
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