If your luxury properties already have a swimming pool (which luxury property does not have one?), what do you do for an encore?
Build one in the shape of a violin.
That’s exactly what a former Goldman Sachs executive did in his wooded backyard. He even got the giant pool down to its small parts — purlflings, f-holes, a bridge, strings, a tailpiece, even a black marble chin rest.
Whatever inspired the monstrosity is unclear but it appears the man had been fiddling with the idea not much longer than it takes to sign a check.
But he has nothing on British billionaire Richard Branson.
Branson is building a space station in New Mexico, equipped with a spaceship that will take travelers into the stratosphere and back for US$200,000 a pop.
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has a trove of science-fiction memorabilia that includes Captain Kirk’s chair and the robot from the movie Lost In Space.
Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich, who famously bought English Premier League football club Chelsea in 2003, owns the world’s biggest yacht which comes with missile-detection technology, two helipads, a luxury spa, swimming pool, a miniature submarine and an anti-paparazzi system.
And Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani built the world’s first – and only – billion-dollar home in Mumbai.
Oh, what the rich wouldn’t do to keep us mere mortals from being consumed by loathing and envy.
Still, not all possessions of the rich are symbols of wealth and power.
Warren Buffett still lives in a modest home he bought in 1958 and IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad tools around in a 15-year-old Volvo station wagon.
And the richest of them all?
Bill Gates prizes his dishwasher which he says helps him clean up after the family dinner.
Finally, Shah Jahan.
The 17th century Mughal emperor built a temple to honor the memory of his wife, driving himself into financial ruin and personal misfortune.
Today, the Taj Mahal stands as a symbol of love.
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