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Family Of Samsung Chairman Donates Art Collection To Pay Down $11B Inheritance Tax

Family Of Samsung Chairman Donates Art Collection To Pay Down $11B Inheritance Tax

The family of Lee Kun-Hee, the late chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is donating 23,000 pieces of art in an effort pay off an inheritance tax bill of roughly $11 billion.

What Happened: South Korea has a 60% inheritance tax. Lee, who owned 4.18% of Samsung at the time of his death last October, was South Korea’s richest person and had an estimated net worth of $20 billion.

According to an Associated Press report, the Lee family’s tax bill is the largest in South Korean history and more than three times the nation’s total estate tax revenue for 2020.

The art donations are designed to reduce the taxable portions of the Lee estate. The collection features the works of European masters including Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Paul Gauguin, Joan Miro, Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso, as well as Korean paintings, sculptures, ceramics and books. Two cultural institutions in Seoul, the National Museum of Korea and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, will receive the donations.

Related Link: Rare Van Gogh Painting Sells At Auction For $15.4M

What Else Happened: Furthermore, the Lee family is donating roughly $900 million to infectious disease research and the creation of a 150-bed hospital to treat children with cancer and rare illnesses.

The family is also funding a decade-long program with the Seoul National University Children’s Hospital to help families pay for their children’s treatment for cancer and rare diseases.

Samsung issued a statement praising the Lee family in their effort “to honor the life of the late Chairman Lee and his commitment to corporate citizenship and co-prosperity by giving back to communities.” 

(Claude Monet's "Le bassin aux nymphéas," one of the artworks from the collection of Lee Kun-Hee. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.)


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