Along with his wife, Elham, Lebanese businessman Tony Salamé has been collecting contemporary art for more than 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 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—among them Prada, Pinault, and Arnault—who have opened museums 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; philanthropy (Aïshti Foundation)

Collecting area:
Contemporary art

Top 200 appearance:
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Fun fact:

In 2013, Salamé established 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.