A painting by Leonardo da Vinci has been sold for $450m (£342m) at a Christie's auction in New York, smashing the previous record for a piece of art sold at auction.
The Salvator Mundi was sold to an unidentified buyer who was bidding over the phone. When the hammer fell at $400m, the crowd burst into applause and cheers. Auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen acknowledge that it was an "historic moment".
The work of art, which has been described as the 'Divine Mona Lisa',has spend the past 500 years in the ownership of royal families and private owners. It was commissioned by King Louis X11 and painted around the year 1500.
The painting was sold at Sotheby's for £45 in 1958, and was subsequently believed lost until 2005, where it was found to be badly damaged and partly painted over. Christie's has described it as "without question the greatest artistic rediscovery of the 21st century".
"Salvator Mundi is a painting of the most iconic figure in the world by the most important artist of all time,’ said Loic Gouzer, chairman, post-war and contemporary art at Christie’s in New York.
"The opportunity to bring this masterpiece to the market is an honour that comes around once in a lifetime. Despite being created approximately 500 years ago, the work of Leonardo is just as influential to the art that is being created today as it was in the 15th and 16th centuries."