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How a Secretive Family Stash Could Help Pay One of the World's Biggest Tax Bills

The Samsung dynasty’s personal art collection may be worth $2.7 billion.

The Leeum Museum 2 in Seoul. 

The Leeum Museum 2 in Seoul. 

Photographer: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

When Lee Kun-hee was assembling one of the world’s biggest privately owned art collections, little did he know that it would become embroiled in his family’s tax woes.

The trove includes a portrait of Dora Maar by Pablo Picasso, one of Claude Monet’s water lilies paintings and thousands of other works that together are estimated to be worth between 2.5 trillion won and 3 trillion won ($2.2 billion and $2.7 billion), according to a person familiar with the appraisal process who asked not to be named because he isn't authorized to speak to the media.