Collectors News Ukraine

Ukrainian collector pledges to give away half his fortune

Victor Pinchuk has joined the ranks of 12 international billionaires who promise to donate their money to philanthropic causes

Victor Pinchuk speaking about philanthropy at Davos

The Ukrainian steel magnate and art collector Victor Pinchuk has added his name to the list of billionaires who have pledged to give away half their wealth in their lifetimes or at their deaths.

The Giving Pledge, launched in 2010 by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, has now attracted the support of 12 billionaires outside the US.

One of them is Pinchuk, whose wealth was estimated at $4.2bn by Forbes magazine in March 2012. He already supports a range of health and education causes in Ukraine and since 2006 has funded a contemporary art gallery in a converted hotel in Kiev which hosts displays of major international artists; concurrent shows of work by the Chapman Brothers (see below) and Tony Oursler opened last week.

In 2011, Pinchuk told The Art Newspaper he now plans to build a “landmark” museum in Ukraine within “five years” and recently said he was close to choosing an architect for the project.

Another new signatory to the Giving Pledge is the Russian mining tycoon Vladimir Potanin (worth $14.5bn according to Forbes). He was the first oligarch to make significant contributions to the arts, first giving over $1m in 1999 to renovate St Petersburg’s 19th-century Rostral columns. He is also one of the Hermitage Museum’s top supporters and donated Malevich’s Black Square, 1915 to the St Petersburg institution in 2002. He serves as a trustee of the Guggenheim Museum in New York and supported the 2005 “Russia!” exhibition as well as the institution’s branch in Las Vegas, in partnership with the Hermitage.

Chapman Brothers, The Sum of Аll Evil, 2012–13. Photo: by Sergey Illin, courtesy of the artists and White Cube, provided by the PinchukArtCentre © 2013
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