The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog profiles Massimo Lauro’s collection of young artists that is now open to the public part-time in the Italian town of Citta della Pieve:
“The museum started slowly,” says Mr. Lauro. “I began a little bit shy because I thought it was a little pretentious to make a museum.” The focus is on art made in the 1990s or later, most by artists who are under the age of 40. The provocative Bin Ladin piece is by Dash Snow, the buzzed about 27-year-old downtown New York photographer who died this summer of a drug overdose. There are also pieces from pop artist Takashi Murakami and a bread house sculpture by Urs Fischer that the couple purchased in 2004 (many in the art world are hailing Fischer as the next Jeff Koons).
Massimo Lauro is the nephew of Achille Lauro, the now-deceased Neapolitan shipping magnate. One of his fleet, the luxury cruise liner Achille Lauro, was famously hijacked by Palestinian terrorists in 1985. […]
Massimo Lauro has been collecting art since the 1990s, and about five years ago began focusing on younger artists, he says. In 2006, he sold a Damien Hirst sculpture at a Christie’s auction for about $3.4 million, at the time, the highest price ever paid for the artist’s work. (He’d paid less than $110,000 for the sculpture when he acquired it in 1996.)
Italian Art Enthusiasts Open Collection to Public (Speakeasy/WSJ)