Salvator Mundi ‘on Saudi prince’s yacht’

The world’s most expensive artwork – Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece Salvator Mundi – has reportedly been installed on Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s superyacht.

A Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece, whose whereabouts has been a mystery since it sold in 2017 for a record $450 million; has turned up in an unlikely place, according to Artnet.com.

“Salvator Mundi” is being kept on superyacht Serene owned by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman; the publication reported Monday, citing two “principals involved in the transaction” that it didn’t identify. Another Saudi prince was said to have purchased the 500-year-old painting on MBS’s behalf at a 2017 Christie’s auction; the New York Times reported previously. Christie’s declined to confirm that report.

The Saudi government’s Center for International Communication didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

MarineTraffic, an app that tracks vessels including superyachts, shows that Serene is currently at Port Said, an Egyptian city where the the Suez Canal meets the Mediterranean Sea.

‘‘Salvator Mundi,” whose provenance has been questioned, will remain aboard MBS’s 439-foot (134-meter) Serene until the Saudis create a planned cultural hub in the Kingdom’s Al-Ula region, Artnet said. The project was in an “exploratory phase,” a spokesman for the commission overseeing the plan said in December.

Experts at the Louvre have attributed the work to Da Vinci’s workshop; rather than to the artist alone, according to a published report. Celine Dauvergne, a spokeswoman for the Louvre, declined to comment on the painting’s attribution, but said the Paris museum has asked to borrow the work for an October exhibition.