The United States' oil magnate, J. Paul Getty, spent an estimated 10 million dollars (about?
The United States' oil magnate, J. Paul Getty, spent an estimated 10 million dollars (about four million pounds sterling) t make a dream come true - a sumptuous home at Malibu, California for his fine art collection, regarded as one of the largest and best in the United States.
On 10 acres (4 hectares) of his 65-acre (26.3-hectare) property near California's Pacific Coast highway, the oil magnate has built a replica of the Roman Villa of Papyri, buried at Herculaneum along with Pompei in the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
The museum -- complete with a colonnaded garden several hundred feet long -- has a floor area of 79,000 square feet (7,350 square metres) with some 48,000 square feet (4,450 square metres) of gallery space. The building was designed to Getty's specifications by British architect, Stephen Garrett, who is now the museum's Deputy Director.
The largest gallery, on the second floor, houses a priceless collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, furniture and carpets, including the Ardabil Carpet dating from 1535 A.D. and valued at half a million pounds. The artists include Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt and Raphael.
Mr. Norris Bramlett, a personal assistant to oil magnate, has been appointed Director, while fine arts experts from around the world have been appointed as curators of the various sections of the museum.
J. Paul Getty -- who turned BI in December last year -- has said he wants to add to the collection, and has set up a fund to ensure that it will continue to expand after his death.
Getty -- thought to be one of the world's richest men -- described the museum as ".what I felt a good museum should be; the sort of place I should like to visit myself."
The museum was completed late last year, and opened last month.