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Top 200 Collectors


Lily Safra owned what was 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 was 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 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 did not confine herself just to art. She 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. In 2022, she died at 87.