Taxpayers Paid for That: The New #1? UC Berkeley’s Solyndra Artwork Would Shatter Record for World’s Most Expensive Piece

August 21, 2012

According to recent news reports, the $535 million loan guarantee to now-bankrupt Solyndra has been reincarnated as a modern art exhibit in the foothills of University of California at Berkeley. The “SOL Grotto” is the work of Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello and is part of UC Berkeley’s Botanical Garden’s “Natural Discourse” exhibit. American taxpayers paid $535 million for the Obama administration’s reckless investment in Solyndra, which now can be found in the foothills of Berkeley. To date, the most expensive piece of art ever sold is Paul Cézanne’s “The Card Players,” which the country of Qatar bought for $250 million in 2011 from the late Greek shipping magnate George Embiricos. With a price tag of half a billion dollars, and just $24 million expected to be repaid, the amount taxpayers forked over with little to see in return except for the “SOL Grotto” would make this piece of art shatter the previous record.

The New #1? American taxpayers were put on the hook for $535 million; these remnants of Solyndra are now on display as UC Berkley’s “SOL Grotto.”

In 2011, the country of Qatar bought Paul Cézanne’s “The Card Players” for $250 million.

#2: In 2006, Producer David Geffen sold Jackson Pollock’s “No. 5, 1948” to an unnamed buyer for $140 million.

#3: In 2006, Producer David Geffen sold Willem de Kooning’s “Woman III” to hedge fund billionaire Steven A. Cohen for $137.5 million.

#4: In 2006, cosmetics mogul Ronald Lauder bought Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer” for a reported $135 million from the niece of Bloch-Bauer.

#5: In May 2012, Edvard Munch’s pastel work “The Scream” sold at Sotheby’s for $119.9 million to an anonymous bidder.

View a list of the top 10 most expensive works of art HERE.

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