SUBSCRIBESIGN IN
WORLD
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Identified as Buyer of Record-Breaking da Vinci
U.S. government intelligence and a Middle East art-world figure familiar with the purchase say Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman used a proxy to purchase the 500-year-old ‘Salvator Mundi’
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, pictured at a Nov. 14 meeting, is identified as the buyer of da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi,’ according to U.S. intelligence and a Middle East art-world figure.
PHOTO: FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
By in Washington, in Miami and in Dubai
Updated Dec. 7, 2017 7:35 pm ET
SHARE
TEXT
194
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is leading an austerity drive at home, is the bidder who paid a record $450.3 million for a Leonardo da Vinci portrait of Jesus Christ, settling one of the art world’s biggest mysteries.
Prince Mohammed, known by his initials MBS, was identified as the buyer of the 500-year-old painting, “Salvator Mundi,” in U.S. intelligence reports, according to people with direct knowledge of the information. American officials have closely watched the activities of the 32-year-old, who is trying to portray himself as a reformer determined to root out corruption in the oil-rich kingdom.
“The image of the crown prince spending that much money to buy a painting when he’s supposed to be leading an anticorruption drive is staggering,” said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer and leading expert on Saudi politics.
Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed, a lesser-known figure and a distant relative of the crown prince, was the nominal winner of the auction, held at Christie’s in November, a Middle East art-world figure familiar with the purchase said, “but he is a proxy for MBS.”
“It is a fact that this deal was done via a proxy,” the person said.
TO READ THE FULL STORY
SUBSCRIBE
SIGN IN
Continue reading your article with
a WSJ membership
VIEW MEMBERSHIP OPTIONS
SPONSORED OFFERS
TURBOTAX:
Start today & save up to $20 with TurboTax 2021
H&R BLOCK TAX:
H&R Block discount 2021 - 35% off new tax prep software
TARGET:
Receive 20% discount on your order - Target Promo Code 2021
SAMSUNG:
30% off smartphones - Samsung promo code
AT&T WIRELESS:
Save with AT&T Wireless promo codes now!
MICROSOFT STORE:
Microsoft Coupon - 10% off for all Military personnel
RECOMMENDED VIDEOS
SpaceX Successfully Lands Starship for the First Time
What Facebook Panel’s Decision Means for Trump, Social Networks
How NASA Satellites Can Help Predict Volcanic Eruptions and Limit Damage
India’s Covid-19 Surge Puts Pressure on Global Vaccine Effort
Jamie Dimon: 'I'm About to Cancel All My Zoom Meetings.'
MOST POPULAR NEWS
Millions Are Unemployed. Why Can’t Companies Find Workers?
Dogecoin’s 12,000% Rally Spurs Hunt for Next Crypto Winner
Chicken Shortage Sends Prices Soaring; Restaurants Can’t Keep Up
Covid-19 Vaccines vs. Infections
David Swensen, Yale Endowment Chief, Dies at 67
MOST POPULAR OPINION
Opinion: Democrats Are Killing the American Dream
Opinion: America’s Welfare State Is on Borrowed Time
Opinion: Biden’s Vaccine Patent Theft
Opinion: Rural America Gets Bad Vibrations From Big Wind
Opinion: Voters Can Spot Radical Left-Wing Policy
BACK TO TOP
Edition
WSJ Membership Benefits
Customer Center
Legal Policies
SIGN IN
© 2021 Dow Jones & Company Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
DJIApoints with a0.93%▲U.S. 10 Yrwith a1.569%▼Europoints with a0.02%▲