Sheldon Adelson to return $678m art collection to wife

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Sheldon Adelson donated $40m to the Institute for Justice in 2010

A billionaire billionaire couple have reached a $678 million (556m pounds) divorce settlement in a court battle over his artwork.

Sheldon Adelson, the 93-year-old chief executive of casino mogul Las Vegas Sands, has agreed to return most of the paintings that Linda Chan Adelson acquired in the 1970s.

The contentious case has seen a previous split of the couple’s business fortune.

Mr Adelson paid $850 million for the works and his ex-wife bought 11 of them for $350 million over the next six years.

In addition to the artwork, she will get a $50 million loaned to the couple.

The settlement includes the sale of all 11 of the valuable paintings and a Russian ouija board.

The ads and gifts to their children had been sold last year, according to New York Post.

In a court hearing last month, she said the purchase of the paintings was just a “lifestyle extravagance” and that she had bought her husband lots of beautiful “candy” – including sports cars and watches – during the marriage.

According to reports, her ex-husband has spent more than $34m on art over the last six years.

Earlier this year, he donated $40m to the Institute for Justice in 2010. The conservative group fights for personal and civil liberties, including the right to bear arms.

Mr Adelson and his ex-wife married in 1970, with the Las Vegas Sun reporting that they had 10 children. The couple separated in 2007.

Sheldon Adelson, who founded the Venetian Resort Casino, is the fourth wealthiest person in the world according to Forbes, worth an estimated $33bn.

In August, Forbes said it would update its estimate of Mr Adelson’s wealth, with it now understood to be worth about $33bn – making him the top 50 wealthiest person in the world.

Last year he paid $100m to purchase the Venetian Macau, the former casino joint-venture with China’s Crown Resorts.

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