The New York Times looks at Bernard Arnault’s Fondation Louis Vuitton which the paper sees as the billionaire’s latest plaything:
The toy is a contemporary art museum and performance space: the Fondation Louis Vuitton, a sinuous, 126,000-square-foot glass and steel structure designed by Frank Gehry and tucked away in the Bois de Boulogne of Paris. Mr. Arnault has spent the last decade making the FLV a reality — it opens to the public this month — at a reported cost of more than $135 million.
In his private conference room, however, surrounded by works of Andy Warhol and Picasso, Mr. Arnault was reluctant to tally the costs. “We don’t speak of numbers when we speak of a dream,” he said, gazing down at some photographs of the museum. “Let’s just say it is a very expensive sculpture.”
But, of course, it is more than that. Built to house the contemporary art collection of LVMH including works by Jeff Koons and Gilbert & George as well as pieces from Mr. Arnault’s personal collection, the FLV may be the most ambitious, and potentially controversial, new structure in Paris since I. M. Pei’s pyramid landed in the Louvre in 1989. And because the new museum sits on land that belongs to a public park, in 55 years it reverts to the city.
A Cultural Gift to Paris Could Redesign LVMHs Image (NYTimes.com)