Along with his wife, Elham, Lebanese businessman and uber collector Tony Salamé has been collecting contemporary art for over ten years. In 2015, the entrepreneur opened a 40,000-square-foot exhibition space for his Aïshti Foundation in Jal el-Dib, Lebanon. Designed by British architect David Adjaye, the art foundation’s exhibition hall is part of an ambitious expansion of Aïshti Seaside, an outpost of Salamé’s fashion empire. The Aïshti Foundation exhibition space moved Salamé into the league of fashion-entrepreneur megacollectors, such as Prada, Pinault, and Arnault, who have opened museums in which to show their holdings. The foundation’s grounds include outdoor sculptures. “It’s setting a precedent,” Adjaye told ARTnews. “Beirut has not had much public sculpture, because of security concerns.”

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Elham and Tony Salamé


Source of wealth:
Retail luxury stores

Collecting area:
Contemporary art

Top 200 appearance:

Fun fact:

For the past few years, Salamé has also run a space called Metropolitan Art Society in an old villa in Beirut, inviting galleries from other major art centers to put on selling exhibitions there. Kamel Mennour from Paris and Suzanne Geiss from New York are among those who have done displays at the space.