Simon Sainsbury’s £100m art giveaway

  • 30 October 2007

A collection of 18 artworks thought to be worth as much as £100m has been donated to the Tate Britain, Tate Modern and the National Gallery.

Bequeathed by the late Simon Sainsbury, the paintings include two Monets, a Gaugin and three Lucian Freuds.

Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate, said the gift was ‘one of the most important bequests to come to the nation in the last 100 years’.

The British art collector, who died last year, was from the family behind supermarket giant J Sainsbury.

A private man, he refused honours and would not allow his name to be included in Who’s Who.

Along with his two brothers, Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover and Sir Timothy Sainsbury, he paid for the £35m Sainsbury wing in the National Gallery over ten years ago.

Martin Wyld, acting director for the National Gallery, said: ‘Simon Sainsbury’s legacy at the National Gallery is truly remarkable.

‘He long intended that major works from his distinguished collection should come to the National Gallery and these outstanding paintings will greatly enrich our Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collection.’

The collection will be exhibited by the Tate in a show next summer, with several of the paintings not seen in public for years.

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