Israeli shipping mogul donates millions to London museum

July 5, 2013 08:54

Israeli shipping billionaire Eyal Ofer has donated 10 million pounds ($15.2 million) to the Tate Modern of London, helping to fund the biggest expansion in the museum’s 13-year history.

The gift from the Eyal Ofer Family Foundation continues the family’s history of supporting UK institutions started by his father, Sammy Ofer, and will help bankroll a new building that will increase the museum’s size by 60 percent. The new structure will house contemporary visual works, such as photography and performance art.“It is exciting to see such outstanding philanthropy continuing from one generation to the next,” Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate said in a written statement. “The generosity of Eyal Ofer and his family will help to make the Tate Modern a truly twenty-first century museum.”

Ofer, 63, is Israel’s second-richest man, with a fortune valued at $5.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. With his younger brother Idan, he owns one of the world’s largest closely held shipping companies, Sammy Ofer Group Monaco, whose vessels are operated by London-based fleet manager Zodiac Maritime Agencies.

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