Called by some the “Cuban Gatsby”, collector Roberto Polo has amassed an impressive collection of art. Known for his flair, the financier-turned-art dealer has unearthed masterpieces from all periods of art history, demonstrating that he is an expert at purchasing paintings, furniture and sculptures that have revolutionised art.
Some of his collection will shortly be visible to the public at large. According to El País, Polo has decided to lend more than 7000 works to 2 Spanish museums. Two buildings, the Convento de Santa Fe in Toledo and former public records building Cuenca, will be requisitioned to exhibit the works as from 2018.
The Spanish newspaper reports that the collection, which is been insured for a value of €50 million, will travel for 15 years, during which time the 7000 modern and contemporary works should be ceded to the Spanish government. This gift of inestimable value contains works by Max Ernst, Kurt Schwitters and Larry Poons. Polo will also donate part of his library to Spain, which El País reports includes very rare first-edition books. As a result, Spain will reclaim an important place with regard to the history of contemporary art.
This is not the first time that the dealer has shown his generosity towards European museums: a notable example was his donation of Fragonard’s Adoration of the Shepherds to the Louvre in 1988. In gratitude, France made him a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.