Sunday, May 01, 2011

"a gift from the world’s richest man"

Billionaire Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, gave a sneak peek in February at his new Soumaya Museum in Mexico City, representing one of his biggest gifts to the art and museum worlds.

The gleaming, aluminum-plated structure, which cost an estimated $34 million, will be free to visitors. The Carlos Slim Foundation will underwrite all of the museum’s expenses, including maintenance and the cost of mounting exhibitions.

“There will be no specific budget of a certain amount,” said Slim, worth an estimated $69.5 billion, in a recent interview at Bloomberg News’s New York headquarters. “There will be no limits. We will decide what needs to be done at the museum and just do it.”

The museum was designed by Slim’s son-in-law, architect Fernando Romero, 39, who apprenticed under Pritzker Prize winner and urbanist Rem Koolhaas. The 150-foot-tall building is named after Soumaya Domit, Slim’s wife, who died of kidney failure in 1999.

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