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Chinese Billionaires Build Their Own Art Museum To Share Their Collection With World

Chinese Billionaires Build Their Own Art Museum To Share Their Collection With World

(Photo courtesy of AP/whiotv.com)  

Over the past two years Wang Wei and her husband Liu Yiqian dropped a reported $317 million on their hobby. Now they need somewhere to display the collection they've amassed. The solution: a private art museum that Wang hopes will impart some class to China's flashy nouveau riche.

Wang and billionaire investor Liu are part of a new generation of wealthy Asians that is better known for splashing out on extravagant toys such as private jets, mega-sized yachts and supercars. Some, instead, have built big art collections and now aspire to showcase their refined sensibility to a wider audience.

The trend is most apparent in China, where entrepreneurs who have gotten rich off the country's booming economy have been splurging on art, making it the world's biggest fine art market last year for the second year in a row.

As China's best known art collectors, Wang and her husband spent nearly $317 million on art in the past two years, according to a report in the state-run China-Daily that quoted Wang. She declined to confirm the figure, and said "I do not like to talk about how much I spent."

Wang's 107,640 square foot "Long" museum is scheduled to open in Shanghai in late October and will cost $1.6 million a year to run. Aside from giving her a space to show off her collection of Chinese revolutionary and contemporary art, Wang said it will also help her give her nouveau riche compatriots a cultural education. (more)

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Article by Kelvin Chan, msnbc.com | Read full article here

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