Repairs Begin on Coral Reef Damaged by Collector Paul Allen’s Yacht

He hired a Washington State firm to remediate.

Paul Allen at the premiere of Interstellar in 2014. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images.
Paul Allen at the premiere of Interstellar in 2014. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

Washington State firm Polaris Applied Sciences has begun work to restore damage to the coral reef near the Cayman Islands that was reportedly caused by billionaire art collector Paul Allen’s yacht, according to the New York Post.

Allen disputes whether it was his craft that did the damage, but all the same, he’s cooperating with local authorities to repair the damage, according to the New York Post. He’s also tangled with Cayman authorities, saying they’ve dragged their feet on approving a remediation plan.

The Microsoft co-founder’s 300-foot vessel, the Tatoosh, reportedly dragged its anchor and chain along the reef, destroying some 13,000 square feet of the vital structure in the process. His company, Vulcan, hired Polaris to “stabilize and remove rubble, re-create structures, and rescue and reattach as much living coral as possible,” says the Post’s Page Six.

Beyond his association with Microsoft, Allen is known for his ambitious art-related projects. He launched the Seattle art fair in 2014; its inaugural outing attracted mega-galleries such as Gagosian, Pace, and Zwirner. Among the attendees were collector Virginia Wright; her son Charles Wright, who serves on the board of the Seattle Art Museum and once served on the board of New York’s Dia Art Foundation; Barney Ebsworth, a noted collector of American art; and former Microsoft president Jon Shirley, one of the city’s preeminent art patrons.

When artnet News contributor Blake Gopnik visited Allen’s offices for Newsweek in 2012, he spotted works by historical masters like Alberto Giacometti and Auguste Rodin as well as contemporary figures like Alexander Calder, Damien Hirst, and Mark Rothko.

In more recent news, the collector is reportedly eyeing Washington, DC, as a possible venue for a museum devoted to pop culture.


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