Where does the richest person on earth keep his trinkets?
What type of museum would you build if money was no object and literally you could afford to do anything you wanted to? This one….it’s the $70m museum created by Carlos Slim, the richest person on the planet.
Like a giant, slivery, scaly fish rising from the sea, the amazing Soumaya Museum is the vision of architect Fernando Romero, who also happens to be Slim’s son-in-law.
Together they’ve created one of the world’s most impressive treasure boxes – with a helping hand from world-renowned design engineer Ove Arup – oh, and Frank Gehry, only one of the most famous architects in the world. Well, if you’ve got money….
World’s richest man opens the world’s flashiest museum
Inside is Slim’s private art collection, which is really an understatement. There’s so many priceless, famous pieces – over 66,000 at last count – it’s fast becoming a tourist destination to rival celebrated museums across the world.
Salvador Dali? Of course, there’s the ‘Triumphant Angel’. And a Da Vinci painting which has been valued at over £30m alone. It’s also home to the world’s largest private collection of works and sculptures by Auguste Rodin – a particular favourite of Slim’s late wife Soumaya, after whom the museum is named.
Art-like, sculptural quality of the building
But all of these treasures, estimated at over $700m, can’t detract from the art-like, sculptural quality of the building itself. Covered by over 16,000 hexagonal aluminum tiles, it towers 46 metres high with six individually-shaped floors – made of imported Greek marble – devoted to art along with a library, restaurant and a 350-seat auditorium.
Dazzling effect of scaly cladding
You’d think thanks to its scaly cladding it would be quite dark and uninviting inside, but the top floor of the entire building opens, suspended from a cantilever, so it is filled with sunlight to show off the collection to dazzling effect.
The good news is that anyone can visit this beautiful building and the jewels it holds. Slim opened the museum to the public, wanting to give people in Mexico would couldn’t afford to travel to European museums the chance to view art collections.
A museum which rivals even the most celebrated museums across the world
It’s even free to go in – the running costs are covered by Slim himself. Well, if you’re the richest man in the world I guess you can afford to be a little bit generous.