Opinion

Move Over, Modigliani: Some Slightly More Altruistic Ways to Spend $170.4 Million

Amadeo Modigliani, "Nu couché," 1917. (image via Wikimedia Commons)
Amadeo Modigliani, “Nu couché” (1917) (image via Wikimedia Commons)

On Monday, Amadeo Modigliani’s “Nu couché” (Reclining Nude), a 1917 painting of a woman sprawled naked on red bedding, fetched $170.4 million at Christie’s. It was the second-highest price ever paid for a work of art at auction, topped only by Picasso’s $180 million “Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’)” (The Women of Algiers, 1955). The buyer was one Liu Yiqian, a former taxi driver turned billionaire art collector.

To some, $170.4 million might seem like an abstract number. So, as we did with the Picasso, we thought it might be helpful to put the staggering figure in perspective. We investigated what else this sum of money could buy, from laptops for kids to HIV treatment. Here’s what you could do with a spare $170.4 million lying around, if you decided not to spend it on a painting of a naked lady.

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