Christie's employees pose in front of Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Plans to unveil in UAE the world’s most expensive painting ever sold, Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, are facing some setback.

The masterpiece, sold at a Christie’s auction last year for more than $450 million, was earlier slated to go on display at the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi from September 18.

However, the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, announced on Monday that the unveiling has been postponed to a date yet to be disclosed.

The masterpiece is one of the greatest works by the renowned renaissance artist. It is a depiction of Christ as “Saviour of the World” and became the priciest painting ever sold at an auction, held last November 2017 at the Rockefeller Centre in New York.

The painting was purchased for the Louvre Abu Dhabi at a record price of $450,312,500.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism had announced in June 27 that the painting will be unveiled  this month.

“The Salvator Mundi highlights the inclusive nature of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s narrative and Abu Dhabi’s mission to promote a message of acceptance, and openness. It is an opportunity for Abu Dhabi’s residents and visitors from around the world to engage with a rare and iconic work of great cultural significance at Louvre Abu Dhabi. Lost and hidden for so long in private hands, Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece is now our gift to the world,” said Mohammad Al Mubarak, chairman of the Department.

“It belongs to all of us, who will have the chance to stand before it, and bear witness to the mastery of one of the most significant artists in living history. [Da Vinci’s] Salvator Mundi [also] represents an important chapter in the history of art, and offers a fully-rounded view of his artistic output,” Al Mubarak added.

According to Christie’s, the piece reflects the extreme rarity of paintings by da Vinci. “There are fewer than 20 in existence acknowledged as being from the artist’s own hand, and all apart from Salvator Mundi are in museum collections,” the auction house said.