Leonardo Da Vinci's 'missing' masterpiece hidden on Saudi prince's yacht - report

The whereabouts of a Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece believed to be the world's most expensive artwork has been a mystery to the artworld - until now.

The painting, titled Salvator Mundi, disappeared after it was sold at Christie's in New York in 2017 for NZ$682m  - smashing the world record for any art sold at auction.

However new reports allege it's being kept on superyacht Serene owned by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, according to Artnet.com.

Artnet said "two principles involved in the transaction" told its reporter that the painting was "whisked away in the middle of the night on MBS's plane and relocated to his yacht, the Serene".

The most expensive art ever sold.
The most expensive art ever sold. Photo credit: Christie's

The long-lost painting of Jesus Christ was commissioned by King Louis XII of France more than 500 years ago and only rediscovered as an authentic Leonardo in 2005.

It was due to go on display at an Abu Dhabi gallery last September, but the venue's opening was postponed just weeks before the scheduled unveiling and Salvator Mundi then went missing in action.

The artwork was previously sold for just US$60 in 1958, as it was then believed to be painted by apprentices, instead of the master himself. Several experts still question the extent to which Da Vinci contributed to the artwork.

Fewer than 20 Da Vinci's paintings may still be in existence.