November 14th, 2015
The country’s wealthy elite chase recognition and status by splashing cash on museums and schools, but there may also be a less idealistic motive behind their largesse.
When property tycoon Fan Jianchuan decided to step down from most of his companies and build museums, he wanted to do it on the same scale as he had with his business.
After a decade riding the wave of China’s fevered economic growth, he made it on to a list of the country’s 500 richest people. He then spent the next decade lavishing his energy and multimillion-dollar fortune on the small provincial town of Anren. Now 20 museums form the “Jianchuan cluster” in this otherwise unremarkable area of southern China – and he hopes they will keep both his name and some of China’s history alive.
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