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Who owns priciest art collection?

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Posted: 7 am ET

The top 10 art connoisseurs in the world own a collection worth a combined $15.1 billion, with an American media tycoon's $2.3 billion collection topping the list.

The rich are investing millions in art, but collecting comes with its own risks.

The rich are investing millions in art, but collecting comes with its own risks.

David Geffen, with an estimated net worth of $6.3 billion, is co-founder of DreamWorks Animation and owns the world's most expensive art collection, according to research from Wealth-X. His taste is American 20th century and includes works by Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.

American philanthropist Eli Broad, with an estimated net worth of $6.9 billion, is tied for second place on the list, with a collection worth $2.2 billion. The public will soon be able to view part of his collection of postwar and contemporary art after construction is completed next year on the Broad Museum in Los Angeles.  It will house nearly 2,000 works of art.

Greek shipping magnate Philip Niarchos, whose net worth is estimated at $2.5 billion, also owns a collection worth $2.2 billion.

Auction's record sales

Earlier this month, Christie's sold $745 million worth of art, its biggest sale to date. Billionaires around the world paid top dollar for works by artists Francis Bacon, Barnett Newman and Alexander Calder.

In the past few years, the rich have been investing in intangibles such as art, wine and jewelry, partly as a hedge against a volatile stock market and partly because they have the opportunity to enjoy their investment.

But collecting is not a safe investment, by any means. It comes with special risks and challenges. If you're a potential art collector, check out these seven tips before investing in your passion.

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