Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A billionaire art collector flies for free.
When billionaire art collector Liu Yiqian and his wife,
Wang Wei, bought a $170 million Modigliani painting, they charged it to their
American Express credit card, acquiring essentially unlimited frequent flier
miles for them and their family.
Liu, a former taxi driver turned businessman, won Amedeo Modigliani's
Reclining Nude at a Christie's auction earlier this month.
He paid a record
amount paid for a Modigliani painting and the second highest price ever for a
painting at auction, beat out only by Picasso's $179 million Women of Algiers.
Liu and his wife charged the Modigliani to their credit card with a one-year
payment plan, the New York Times reports, otherwise the billionaire couple say
they wouldn't be able to afford it.
Wang told the Times that Liu had at one point considered purchasing a
private plane.
She convinced her husband to instead put that money towards an
art museum in Shanghai, and it's paid off.
With their various art purchases,
the couple and their extended family of four children and two grandchildren,
fly for free.
Liu also charged another objet d'art to his American Express last year—a
$36 million ancient Ming Dynasty ceramic teacup, which he had infamously been
photographed drinking from.
Bloomberg reported at the time that the purchase
earned he and his wife 28 million frequent flier miles, enough to literally
fly around the world more than 1,000 times.
This story originally appeared on Fortune.
More good reads from Fortune:
• This museum is under fire for displaying fakes
• Best Craft Beers For Your Thanksgiving Dinner
• How to Survive Thanksgiving Travel When billionaire art
collector Liu Yiqian and his wife, Wang Wei, bought a $170 million Modigliani
painting, they charged it to their American Express credit card, acquiring
essentially unlimited frequent flier miles for them and their family.

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