The Las Vegas casinos, such as the Venetian owned by Miriam and Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn's future “Rêve”, are more than ever betting on art to attract more visitors.
Founded in 1931 by gangster Bugsy Siegel, Las Vegas is really the town of extravaganza with its casinos recreating big monuments of the world such as the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the pyramid of Cheops (The Louxor), the lake of Como (The Bellagio), the Grand Canal of Venice (The Venetian) or ancient Rome (The Caesar Palace).
There is nothing impossible to achieve in Vegas where promoters are constantly bustling with crazy ideas. For example, the “Venetian” houses two small museums based on the Guggenheim concept in Bilbao, which were inaugurated on October 7th 2001 and where visitors can admire splendid works by Kandinsky, Picasso, Cézanne, Chagall, Bonnard or Delaunay among others.
Visitors have also the opportunity of discovering works loaned for a year by the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg for an exhibition aimed at financing the rehabilitation of that institution.
Known as the gambling paradise, Vegas has progressively become one of the most important art compounds in the world and visitors of the Venetian are truly in ecstasies before dozens of masterpieces, perhaps a suitable way to forget for a while what they have lost while gambling with slot machines and poker games.
Sheldon Adelson said Vegas was a town in the middle of the desert thus deprived of an ocean and that it needed to change its philosophy so far based on casinos alone.
This self-made man, who was born into a poor Jewish family in Boston, added that he had many other projects in mind after spending $ 30 million to create the two museums with works rented by the Guggenheim.