A billionaire sends his art collection to Normandy

A major new art gallery is to be built in Cannes after Normandy won a competition between seven French cities to host the permanent home of Swiss billionaire Jean-Claude Gandour’s collection.

The 75-year-old businessman chose William the Conqueror’s seat as the venue for his architecturally ambitious second-round tie against finalist Bordeaux, which the local government hopes will put Caen on the cultural map in the same way the Guggenheim did for Bilbao. Spain.

“Report” informs that “Times” newspaper of London published information about this Gandour, who has amassed a fine collection ranging from antiquities to one of the largest portfolios of post-war European paintings, launched the bid after Geneva voters rejected his plan for the museum.

A competition to design the gallery, which is due to open in 2030, will soon be announced, with the 12 hectares of land that will host it being donated by the city council. Swiss Croesus, who has made a fortune in oil operations in Africa, is looking for a young architect to produce a series of connected buildings that will be close to nature.

«I want a horizontal museum of about 3,500 m2, which will not be autonomous, but a collection of interconnected structures.Gandur told the French newspaper “Le Monde”. Its model is the Glenstone Museum, a private contemporary art gallery in Maryland designed by Charles Gutmey.

While the museum’s vision of grand modern architecture has drawn comparisons to Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim, the businessman says he wants the complex to be simple and blend in with its surroundings. Ghadour, who grew up in Egypt and lives in Malta, pledged 50 million euros for construction and said he would cover all operating costs, estimated at 6 million euros a year.

The collector explains that he chose the city because of its role in European history from the time of William, Duke of Norman, who ascended the English throne after 1066, and from the Hundred Years’ War to the Allied landings in June 1944.Attracting a million visitors to its beaches each year, the city has made culture an important part of its appeal.” he says characteristically.

Asked about the ethical dimension of the origins of his wealth, Gandour compared himself to the great charity collectors of the early 20th century: British-American-Armenian Kaloust Gulbekian and Canadian-American Paul Getty, who also came from the art industry. fossil fuels. “My name also starts with a G – maybe one day they’ll talk about three Gshe commented to Le Monde.

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