Safra, Lauder Expected to Attend “The Scream” Auction

Lily Safra has donated to sundry Jewish and Israeli causes over the years. In addition to her philanthropy, Safra is also a collector of fine art.Sotheby’s is auctioning off Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” this week, and art collectors and bookies are predicting the 1895 painting may turn out to be the most expensive piece of art work ever sold at an auction. Sotheby’s estimates “The Scream” will sell for $80 million; bookmaking firms have more than doubled that number in their approximations.

The painting is the first of four Munch composed to be auctioned; the other three reside in galleries in Oslo, Norway.

A number of wealthy Jewish art collectors are expected to convene on the art scene in Manhattan for the auction on Wednesday, including Lily Safra and Ronald Lauder, two philanthropists who have contributed their money to several important Jewish and Israeli causes around the world.

Mrs. Safra married the late Edmond Safra in 1976, and during their years together, the two donated to sundry Jewish and Israeli constituencies around the globe. Synagogues, academic departments, hospital wings, and numerous other foundations, organizations, and charities, contain the Safra name and reflect the extent and depth of the couple’s largesse.

Notably, the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue in New York City offers an Orthodox foothold for observant Jews living in Manhattan, and is emerging as the leading Sephardic Jewish entity in the United States today.

Mrs. Safra gained renown in the art arena when she purchased Alberto Giacometti’s sculpture, “Walking Man I” for $104.3 million in 2010.

Mr. Lauder is the son of Estée and Joseph Lauder, founders of the Estée Lauder Companies, a Manhattan-based cosmetics giant. Over the years, Ronald has also established a reputation as a tremendous supporter of Israel and Jewish causes.

He is involved with a wide range of Jewish organizations and advocacy groups, including: the Conference of Presidents of Major American Organizations, the Jewish National Fund, the World Jewish Congress, and the Anti-Defamation League.

Lauder reportedly paid $135 million in 2006 for Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I” for his New York museum, the Neue Galerie, which specializes in German and Austrian art from the early twentieth century. He has helped in the recovery of art and is widely acclaimed for his efforts to preserve heritage sites around the world.

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich is also anticipated to make an appearance at “The Scream” auctioning. Born to a Jewish family, Abramovich is worth around $12 billion and well known for his ostentatious lifestyle and lavish celebrity gatherings.

European, Asian, and Middle Eastern moguls, magnates, and collectors are expected to attend the auction, as the painting that has inspired a multitude of entertainment and cultural offshoots finally hits the market.


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