Since its sale for a record $450 million, the whereabouts of the “Salvator Mundi,” said to be painted by Leonardo da Vinci, has become one of the art world’s greatest mysteries.
On Monday, London-based art dealer Kenny Schachter, writing for the website Artnews, offered answers: the painting now resides on the gargantuan yacht owned by powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Since its record-setting sale at Christie’s in 2017, the painting, in which Jesus Christ is depicted emerging from darkness blessing the world with one hand while holding a transparent globe in the other, has never been exhibited in public, triggering doubts about its ownership, whereabouts and authenticity.
Many art experts are split over whether the painting is genuine, saying it was not painted by the Italian master personally but instead by his workshop.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that the painting was bought by Saudi prince Badr bin Abdullah, who acted in the name of the Saudi crown prince, known by his initials MBS.
Riyadh never confirmed or denied that report.
AFP could not corroborate Schachter’s column, and in a nod to the opaque nature of international art sales, he wrote, “In the murky Middle Eastern waters nothing is quite crystal clear.”
But citing several sources including two involved in the sale, Schachter claims the painting “was whisked away in the middle of the night on MBS’s plane and relocated to his yacht, the Serene.”
After saying the painting was originally found in shards and had to be reconstructed before its auction, he asks, “what harm could the occasional splash of seawater do?”
Schachter later wrote that the painting will remain onboard the massive yacht until it is relocated to the Al-Ula governorate, which Saudi Arabia is aiming to transform into a culture and tourism destination.
Trump’s racism is ‘disqualifying’ for him to remain as president: former White House lawyer
Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal explained on MSNBC on Thursday why he viewed President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four women of color in Congress as disqualifying.
Anchor Brian Williams read a quote from Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.
"Half of the country is appalled but not really sure how to combat him; the other half is cheering, or at least averting its gaze. This is what a political civil war looks like, with words, for now, as weapons," Glasser wrote.
Lawrence O’Donnell reports on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump
Anchor Lawrence O'Donnell reported on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump during Thursday evening's "The Last Word" on MSNBC.
"The House of Representatives conducted a symbolic vote on a hastily written impeachment resolution by Democratic Congressman Al Green in reaction to the president’s tweeted comments that the House of Representatives voted to condemn as racist," O'Donnell reported. "The impeachment resolution had nothing to do with the [Robert] Mueller investigation and referred only to the president being unfit for office because of the language that he has used recently about members of Congress and immigrants and asylum seekers."
Video proves how far the Trump’s GOP has gone from the era of Ronald Reagan and HW Bush
The immigration policies of Donald Trump’s presidency would have no room for his GOP predecessors Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush—who both embraced work visas, family unification, easy border crossings and a better relationship with Mexico.
That counterpoint can be seen in a very short video clip from the 1980 presidential election where Reagan and Bush—who became Reagan’s vice president for two terms before winning the presidency in 1988—were asked about immigration at a campaign debate in Texas. Their responses show just how far to the right the Republican Party’s current leader, President Trump, and voters who have not left the GOP to become self-described political independents, have moved on immigration.