The rapid purchasing from television auctions began in 2018. Lucas Vianini, an art expert, received a call from Berlusconi at the time during a late-night auction. Intrigued by the prime minister engaging in a late-night auction, he struck up a conversation and was later invited to Berlusconi’s villa. From there, he became the prime minister’s chief curator.
Berlusconi spent an estimated 20 million euros on this collection and had stored it in a warehouse near his residences in Arcore, near Milan. The warehouse costs €800,000 (about $846,880) a year to maintain the collection. Now, it is up to Berlusconi’s five children to decide what to do with all of these objects.
Berlusconi’s collection was varied and included a number of paintings of nude women, paintings of landscapes, mostly of Milan or Paris, portraits of himself, including a three meter marble statue of himself, among other things. According to Sgarbi, only six or seven have artistic worth. In addition to his television auction collection, Berlusconi also had owned higher quality paintings including works by Titian and Rembrandt, but these were housed at his primary residence.
According to The Guardian, the family was planning to demolish the majority of the collection. At the same time, they are also considering turning his home, Villa San Martino, into a museum, so perhaps some of the items will end up there.