Art News


Abu Dhabi’s department of culture and tourism has acquired Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “Salvator Mundi”, which was sold for a record $450m at an auction last month. The 500-year-old painting is called “Salvator Mundi” Latin for “Savior of the World” and is one of approximately 20 paintings by the painter known to exist and the only one in private hands. “Salvator Mundi” commanded four times what Christie’s had estimated. “Christie’s can confirm that the department of culture and tourism, Abu Dhabi, is acquiring Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci,” the auction house said in a statement on Friday. “We are delighted to see that this remarkable painting will be available for public view at the Louvre Abu Dhabi.”

The highest known sale price for any artwork had been $300 million, for Willem de Kooning’s painting “Interchange.”

Original artworks by Ai Weiwei and Cecil Balmond will be unveiled in the Dutch capital this week, as part of the launch for this year’s Amsterdam Light Festival. From Thursday 30 November, Amsterdam’s city centre will be illuminated by 36 light installations, designed exclusively for the festival, which is now in its sixth year. Visitors will be able to experience the works – all based on the theme “existential” – with a walk, cycle or boat ride along the festival’s two sites: on land, and water.

The water exposition, which will run until 21 January 2018, consists of 21 artworks. These include Weiwei’s installation “thinline” – a 6.5km-long line running through the city, representing a border. Cecil Balmond’s installation “infinita” will take the form of a geometric shape, resembling a cracked pyramid floating in the water, designed to provoke reflection on the essence of our existence, and whatever lies beneath the surface. The land exposition, open until 7 January 2018, will take place in Marineterrein Amsterdam. For more information visit

Get ready to hit the cinema early next year in Saudi Arabia for the first time since their ban in the 1980s. “As the industry regulator, the General Commission for Audiovisual Media has started the process for licensing cinemas in the Kingdom. We expect the first cinemas to open in March 2018. This marks a watershed moment in the development of the cultural economy in the Kingdom,” Minister of Culture and Information Awwad bin Saleh Alawwad said in a statement. He further said opening cinemas would act as a catalyst for economic growth and diversification. “By developing the broader cultural sector, we will create new employment and training opportunities, as well as enrich the Kingdom’s entertainment options.” Dubai-based VOX Cinemas and Majid Al Futtaim said they are excited to collaborate with Saudi Arabia.

During Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), Patrick Stewart and Adrian Brody were seen at Louvre Abu Dhabi. They were captured on Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Instagram feed with Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of the Department of Culture and Tourism.

Compiled by Mariam Nihal