Monday, November 20, 2017

Birdwatching: The Russian Oligarch

red-winged blackbird (photo: copyright 2008 Walter Siegmund)
Russian Oligarchs are exotic birds. Take for instance the Rybolovlev with its unique interests in potash and da Vinci. The Rybolovlev Trust is the one which has reaped the profits from the windfall of the Christie’s auction of “Salvator Mundi” for a whopping $450 million (which is not birdfeed). That’s going to be one hefty bird, but many Oligarchs resemble those Perdue Oven Stuffer roasters with their little plastic thermometers in the breast that pop up when they’re ready to be devoured. You may recall, Rybolovlev’s daughter, Ekaterina set a new record when she purchased Sandy Weill’s penthouse at 15 Central Park West for $88 million. The Rybolovlev is the kind of Oligarch that won’t settle for perching on a ledge or nesting and/or fornicating on top of a high rise’s air conditioning unit. Rybolovlevs are the kind of birds that are insiders and are only content when they're able to warm themselves by a raging fire, with potash under the logs and an auction price breaker over the mantle. Many Russians Oligarchs fly south. For instance Dimitry Rybolovlev now lives in Monaco where he lines up his ducks, amongst them a local soccer squad, AS Monaco. The pigeons in Venice’s Saint Mark’s Square grow fat from all the crumbs thrown at them by tourists, but the Rybolovlev is a different can of worms.  You need more than a crust to attract a Rybolovlev. In fact, you’d need a bread factory to get the attention of an oligarch, considering all its trappings.

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