Where in the world is “Salvator Mundi”?

The Da Vinci masterpiece is AWOL. To where can a $450 million painting disappear? Bottom line: nobody seems to know

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Where in the world is “Salvator Mundi”?

Although the Abu Dhabi culture department announced about a month after the auction that it had somehow acquired “Salvator Mundi” for display in the local Louvre, a scheduled unveiling of the painting last September was canceled without explanation. The culture department is refusing to answer questions. Staff of the Louvre Abu Dhabi say privately that they have no knowledge of the painting’s whereabouts.

The Louvre in Paris, which licenses its name to the Abu Dhabi museum, has not been able to locate “Salvator Mundi,” either, according to an official familiar with the museum’s discussions with Abu Dhabi, who declined to be named because of the confidentiality of the talks.

Officials in the French government, which owns the Louvre in Paris, are eager to include “Salvator Mundi” in a landmark exhibition this fall to mark the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death and say they are still holding out hope that the painting might resurface in time. But some Leonardo experts say they are alarmed by the uncertainty about the painting’s whereabouts and future.