The world’s most expensive painting which hasn’t been seen in public since it was ‘acquired’ by Louvre Abu Dhabi via the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, has sparked off a growing concern over its whereabouts.
Professor Martin Kemp, the Da Vinci scholar who helped authenticate the piece a decade ago, told The Times:
‘Nobody outside the immediate Arab hierarchy knows where it is.’
Daily Mail reported that in 2005, the painting was acquired for less than $10,000 (£7,809) at an auction in New Orleans by a consortium of art dealers that included Robert Simon, a specialist in Old Masters.
However when Professor Kemp was asked where the 500-year-old painting might be, he rather worryingly responded:
‘I have no idea. The mystery of its location is, of course, disturbing.’