Museum nominated by Australian billionaire for $ 380 million art collection angering rural community

When Australian businessman Lindsey Hogg announced his intention to donate his Australian $ 500 million ($ 380 million) modern art collection to the state of Victoria, it sparked both the surprise and mistrust. Not just because of the value of his collection, but because so few knew that the billionaire, who owns two plastics companies in Melbourne, was an avid art collector.

Hogg has maintained a very low profile for over 40 years, often buying works at auction through third parties and agents. But if he is not very well known in artistic circles, the same cannot be said of his collection. Numerous works “have been exhibited in the largest national museums and art galleries in the world,” explains London art dealer Richard Nagy.

Hogg has pledged to fund a 50 million Australian dollars ($ 39 million) museum 40 km east of Melbourne to house works by Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Australian artists Sidney Nolan and Brett Whiteley, among others. The Rosemaur Gallery is named after his parents, Rose and Maurice, and is expected to include educational facilities, a bird sanctuary, a landscaped garden and a gourmet restaurant.

The proposed museum site is a “green corner” subject to state planning restrictions © Associate Architects

The catch is that the proposed site sits on a “green corner,” a designated boundary intended to reduce Melbourne’s hot-air balloon urban sprawl. Planning approval ultimately rests with Minister of State for Planning Richard Wynne, who established an independent advisory committee to assess the museum’s merits last October.

While residents of Harkaway, a rural community adjoining the proposed museum site, have expressed concerns about the impact of the development, the project has a number of high profile supporters internationally. The submissions to the committee, seen by The arts journal, include the director of Tate Galleries in the UK, Maria Balshaw, and the director of the Beyeler Foundation in Switzerland, Sam Keller.

According to the Friends of Harkaway, a community coalition opposed to the development of a bushfire-prone green corner site, hundreds of “eloquent and passionate” local residents spoke out in a series of public hearings that took place. ends on March 25. “We are not opposed to Mr. Hogg’s gallery, we are opposed to the location,” said a representative of the group. The arts journal.

The expert advisory committee is expected to render its decision to Wynne by April 24.

About Keneth T. Graves

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