The AP reports that Israeli shipping billionaire, Sammy Ofer, has died:
In 2008, Ofer donated 20 million pounds ($33 million) to fund a new wing at Britain’s National Maritime Museum, which observers said was the largest private donation ever made to a British cultural institution. He was subsequently awarded an honorary knighthood.
Ofer, an avid art collector, withdrew a planned $20 million donation to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 2006 after other donors objected to naming the museum for him and his wife.
Ofer was regularly named one of the world’s top collectors and was reported to have bought Van Gogh’s L’Arlesienne, Madame Ginoux (1890), which sold for $40m Christie’s in May of 2006. Colin Gleadell adds this greatest hits list from Ofer’s acquisitions:
Among the major trophies he acquired were Picasso’s Le Mirroir, a portrait of the artist’s mistress Marie-Therese Walter, which he bought in 1995 for $20 million; Canaletto’s Venice, the Grand Canal, once the property of Sir Robert Walpole, which he bought in 2005 for a record £18.6 million; and van Gogh’s portrait L’Arlesienne, which he bought in 2006 for $40.3 million.
In later years, Ofer developed a taste for the contemporary, adding works by the graffiti artist Banksy to his collection.
Controversial Israeli Billionaire Ofer Dies (Associated Press)
Another Week, Another Match (Telegraph)