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From a 1958 sale in London to a 2005 auction in New Orleans, the missing pieces of the great works rediscovery gradually get filled in.

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09b leonardo 451million 800wide copySalvatore Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci’s rediscovered painting of Christ as the world’s savior, “Salvator Mundi”—auctioned last year for a record-setting $450.3 million—has been owned by British kings and Russian oligarchs. But until now no one knew much about the nearly half-century it spent lost in obscurity in the U.S.

Fresh details have emerged about the da Vinci’s whereabouts and the unsuspecting Louisiana family who lived with the painting for decades before a pair of Old Master dealers bought it from their patriarch’s estate sale in New Orleans in 2005 for less than $10,000. The dealers, Robert Simon and Alexander Parrish, have since successfully lobbied the art world for its reauthentication as a work by the Renaissance master.

To read more on WSJ:

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