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A modern cabinet of curiosities

Those who want to spend hundreds of thousands of euros on “bizarre and exclusive living room décor” should head to the Tuscan town of Arezzo, says Filippo Casini in Vice. There, they’ll find the Theatrum Mundi (“World Theatre” in Latin), an invite-only gallery “offering its extravagant but discreet services to millionaires from all over Europe”. Its weird and wonderful collection includes T-Rex teeth, an original Star Wars lightsaber, and an authentic Soviet spacesuit.

It was set up by Luca Cableri, 49, a self-described “collector of the impossible” who used to work at Christie’s auction house in London. He based the concept on the “cabinets of wonders” popular among nobles between the 16th and 18th centuries. The incongruity of his pieces is key: “It’s like taking a picture of a zebra on top of Mount Everest,” he says. Some items can go for “several million” euros; the customers are “eclectic collectors” who want to accessorise their nice houses with unusual objects – “like a triceratops head, which always looks good, or a Batman suit for the office”. One French buyer “put his very large dinosaur in a castle. An Indonesian client [put his in] his living room. They’re great conversation-starters with guests.”