Tycoon opens free museum

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Tycoon opens free museum

MEXICO CITY - The world’s richest man, telecom tycoon Carlos Slim, is opening a new museum in Mexico City where he plans to share his vast collection of fine art and collectibles with the public without charging visitors a single peso.

Reporters got an early glimpse Tuesday of the new Soumaya Museum, named after the late wife of Slim - whose fortune was estimated at $53.5 billion by Forbes magazine last year, topping Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett.

Admission is to be free at the museum, which opens to the public March 29. It will display a rotating selection of Slim’s 66,000 artworks, including pieces by Mexican artists such as Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo, as well as European masters. Slim is said to especially admire Auguste Rodin, and his collection of the French sculptor’s work is one of the largest outside France.

Designed by Slim’s architect son-in-law, Fernando Romero, the six-story, anvil-shaped building cuts a dramatic arc through the skyline of the capital’s upscale Polanco district.Some 16,000 aluminum panels make up the museum’s bending exterior, reflecting sunlight onto broad stairs leading to the entrance.

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