Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Best Things in Life are Free, Like the Getty Villa!

By Erin Ferucci
Celebrity Lifestyle Designer
Inspiration is priceless, but at the Getty Villa they give it away for free. Most people have heard of the Getty Museum, but the Getty Villa which re-opened its doors in 2006, is a new chapter in museum delectability. Located in the beautiful Pacific Palisades, situated on luscious landscaped ocean front property, the Getty Villa offers ocean scented breezes, awe inspiring Art and a wide variety of programing including concerts and lectures. Did I mention it's free? This is a great place to go on a date, or spend an afternoon with the kids, and best of all this is the perfect place to go when you need to take a little "you" time. On a sunny afternoon at the Villa you can easily convince yourself that you have taken an expensive vacation to the isle of Greece. What a wonderful, inexpensive way to recharge your batteries.
When you see the opulent gardens, and the Grecian, Roman and Etruscan statuary you can't help but marvel at how much money it took to create such an amazing non-profit extravaganza of eye candy. It's mind boggling.

The Getty Villa has just had a massive renovation. It closed in 1997 and after $275 million, yes million, was spent, the new incarnation of the museum reopened in 2006. The new version sports an amphitheater, a restaurant and an entire new wing.
J. Paul Getty, whose renowned riches paid for both the Getty Villa and the Getty Center was a visionary in more ways than one. He was born into a wealthy family but by the age of 25 he was a millionaire in his own right. At 26 he decided to retire in order to pursue his true passion, being a playboy! Retirement didn't last long but being a playboy did. Getty made a number of shrewd business decisions that lead to his legendary wealth. During the depression he acquired companies and properties at rock bottom prices, then in the late 40's he began amassing mineral rights in the Middle East. At that time there were no oil fields in the Middle East, Getty invested over 30 million dollars into drills and derricks, sure that it would be worthwhile. For over four years there was no success. Can you imagine 30 million dollars in 1949? People must have thought he was crazy. Crazy like a fox. Starting in 1953 those oil fields produced more than 16 million barrels of oil a year. Wealth beyond reason. Fortunately for all of us Getty used a great deal of his money to buy artifacts and to endow his philanthropic efforts. The Getty Villa is a spectacular jewel in the Getty Legacy. Treat yourself to it as soon as you can.

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