Lily Safra owns what has been reported to be one of the most expensive houses in the world, Villa Leopolda on the French Riviera, which she inherited from her husband Edmund Safra after his death. Safra is intensely involved with philanthropy, funding a wide variety of cultural and medical projects, including the establishment of the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. She has also actively supported the Israel Museum (where a wing is named for her and her husband) and helped the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Gallery in London, and the Whitney Museum in New York acquire Bill Viola’s 2001 work Five Angels of the Millennium. The collector does not confine herself just to art. She has also amassed a formidable collection of decorative arts and jewelry, and in 2012 a sale of some of her jewels raised nearly $38 million at Christie’s Geneva for charity.

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Lily Safra


Source of wealth:

Collecting area:
19th- and 20th-century art

Top 200 appearance:
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Fun fact:

In 2010, Safra purchased what was at the time the most expensive sculpture ever sold at auction, L’Homme Qui Marche, by Alberto Giacometti, for $103.7 million at Sotheby’s, London.