500-year-old Leonardo da Vinci painting sells for record-breaking $450 million

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Getty Image

A Leonardo da Vinci painting dating back to around 1500 has sold for a record $450.3 million, including fees.

The painting, known as “Salvator Mundi,” meaning "savior of the world" in Latin, is now the most expensive painting ever sold.

To date, it’s the 12th artwork to sell for more than $100 million at auction.

Some experts question whether the painting is a real da Vinci.

“The composition doesn’t come from Leonardo. He preferred twisted movement. It’s a good studio work with a little Leonardo at best, and it’s very damaged,” said Jacques Franck, a Paris-based art historian and Leonardo specialist, the New York Times reported. 

The painting has an interesting sales history.

It was purchased at an estate auction in 2005 for $10,000 and then sold privately in 2013 for $80 million.

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Salvator Mundi was sold again shortly after for $127.5 million to a Russian billionaire’s family trust, who then sold it via Christie’s auction Wednesday night when it reached the record sale price.


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