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Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reacts upon his arrival at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

Painting bought by Saudi Crown Prince for $ 450 million found to be fake

A painting believed to have been bought on behalf of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman two years ago for a staggering 450 million dollars is now said to have been a fake. The painting is attributed to Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci.

As reported by PressTV, the purchase made headlines over the world when it was made at Christie’s New York in November 2017 by a minor Saudi royal thought to have been acting on behalf of bin Salman.

The unwitting prince, also known as MBS, said later that “Salvator Mundi” would become a star of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The report added that the painting was also due to be lent to the Louvre in Paris for a show marking the 500th anniversary of da Vinci’s death in the autumn.

Historian Ben Lewis says that his inside sources at the Louvre, various sources, tell me that not many Louvre curators think this is an autograph [real] Leonardo da Vinci and if they did exhibit it, they really want to exhibit it as ‘workshop’.

Saying that it was very unlikely for the painting to be exhibited as “Leonardo workshop,” he claimed “its value will go down to somewhere north of $1.5 million.”

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