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One of Russia's Richest Women Has Created A Think-Tank To Improve The World

One of Russia's Richest Women Has Created A Think-Tank To Improve The World

(Photos courtesy of Yevgeny Nachitov via Bloomberg)  

Elena Baturina is generally dubbed “Russia’s richest woman”. Her fortune, acquired through extensive construction and cement interests, was estimated at $1.2bn by Forbes this year. She was much richer before the financial crisis: in 2008, Forbes reported that she was worth $4.2bn. Baturina’s husband, Yuri Luzhkov, was mayor of Moscow from 1992 to 2010, when he was sacked amid accusations of corruption: he says these are politically motivated.

Baturina is currently based in London, and from there she has launched a new project, a “creative think-tank” — BeOpen. Its aims are noble: to encourage creativity and innovation among young designers and artists and to build bridges between Russia and the rest of the world. Its website claims that she is investing $100m in intellectual development: “to identify solutions to major social issues and develop them from concept stage to realisation”.

Be Open’s first project was a conference in Milan last week, held during the annual Salone del Mobile and entitled “Design: Language of the Future”, with discussions about subjects such as sustainability in design and “happiness”, featuring the US artist Julian Schnabel. Alongside this was Verve, an exhibition of art showcasing young Russian artists. The third facet of the project is an award scheme for young designers, open to all.

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Article by Georgina Adam, Sotheby's C.A. | Read full article here

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