Within the considerable legacy of Silvio Berlusconi, who died last June, a vast collection of works of art greatly embarrasses his heirs. A compulsive and insomniac buyer, the Cavaliere has accumulated 25,000 works, most of them worthless paintings, gleaned mainly at night via televised auctions, La Repubblica told us last July.
“Berlusconi quite simply aimed to become the first art collector in the world,” the Italian daily reported at the time. Driven by an unbridled and compulsive passion, he undertook an eclectic collection composed of paintings representing Madonnas, naked women, views of his favorite cities (Paris, Naples, Venice) or self-portraits, our colleagues specify. A fad which would have cost him 20 million euros.
Stored in a 4,500 square meter hangar, the collection collected since 2018 includes no more than “six or seven interesting works,” Vittorio Sgarbi, undersecretary at the Ministry of Culture, art critic and friend, declared last October. close to Berlusconi. In any case, these “crusts”, as Rai described them in a documentary, require expensive maintenance of 800,000 euros per year, again according to La Repubblica, which the heirs would happily do without.
Today, the family does not know what to do with this cumbersome burden which, moreover, is starting to be devoured by wood-eating worms. The Italian daily reported in October that she was even considering destroying the collection, with the exception of a few pieces deemed the most valuable. “I don’t know if the destruction of these paintings has already started,” Vittorio Sgarbi said at the time, “but on an artistic level, it would not be a crime.” Silvio Berlusconi leaves an empire worth several billion euros to be divided between five children from two different beds.