Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, July 26, 2021

'Donation of the century': South Korea unveils late Samsung boss' 23,000-strong art collection

Http---cdn.cnn.com-cnnnext-dam-assets-210721143522-06-lee-collection-samsungLee Kun-hee, Samsung's late chairman, had a collection of some 23,000 artworks. Those artworks were recently donated to South Korea and appeared in two exhibitions of the items in Seoul on Wednesday. 

Just months before the exhibits were opened, Lee's family announced the donation "as it seeks to settle an inheritance tax bill of over 12 trillion won ($10.4 billion)."

The art works are being shown at the National Museum of Korea and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA). Items on display include "centuries-old antiques and contemporary Korean works, while paintings by Western names like Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet are set to be unveiled next year." 

Lee's father founded technology conglomerate Samsung in the 1930's. Lee died in October and was 78-years-old. 

In April, his family stated that it was expecting to pay more than half the value of his estate in inheritance tax over a period of five years. "That same day, South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism revealed that the Lee family was donating approximately 23,000 antiques and artworks to public collections." 

See Oscar Holland, 'Donation of the century': South Korea unveils late Samsung boss' 23,000-strong art collection, CNN, July 21, 2021. 


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