Saudi Crown Prince Salman Buys Jesus Paint $450m

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was identified in US intelligence reports as the true owner

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the actual buyer of a painting of Jesus by Leonardo da Vinci that sold for a record-breaking $450 million at auction last month, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The young crown prince, known by his initials MBS, used an intermediary to buy the much-sought-after painting of Christ, “Salvator Mundi,” the newspaper reported, citing US intelligence and other unnamed sources.

The son of Saudi King Salman is seen to be progressively consolidating his power, and is the architect of a wide-ranging plan dubbed Vision 2030 to bring social and economic change to his country’s oil-dependent economy.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

The painting was bought by little-known Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, reports say.

The Journal reported that Bader was the nominal buyer, but said MBS was identified in US intelligence reports as the true owner.

“He is a proxy for MBS,” an unnamed figure in the Gulf art world told the Journal.

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