Lindsay and Paula Fox donate $100 million to new Contemporary NGV art gallery in Melbourne

Billionaire truck billionaires Lindsay and Paula Fox have made a record $100 million donation to The National Gallery of Victoria, and securing naming rights on the gallery’s new building in the process.

This is the largest cash donation ever made to an Australian art museum by a living donor.

The new building will be named The Fox: NGV Contemporary.

The Victorian government on Tuesday said it hoped the move would encourage “further philanthropic support for the project”, with a donation build on the existing $20 million donated by the Ian Potter Foundation in 2020.

Spacious terrace with restaurant and view of Melbourne CBD, with people gathering on the terrace
Danny Pearson said the new gallery building would put Melbourne on the architectural map.(Provided: Victorian Government)

To put donations in perspective, Forbes estimates the net worth of Mr. Fox for $2.9 billion.

The Fox family is behind Australia’s largest private logistics company, Linfox, which owns more than 5,000 trucks in 10 countries around the world Asia Pacific.

A new gallery will be built at the Melbourne Arts Precinct on Southbank.

Creative Industries Minister Danny Pearson said the donation was a “tremendous gift to the Victorian people.”

“Philanthropy can change cities and NGV Contemporary will be a true game changer,” he said.

NGV Contemporary interior design
Construction on the Southbank site is scheduled to begin within 12 months.(Provided: Victorian Government)

The new gallery is part of the Southbank’s $1.7 billion redevelopment, Melbourne Arts District Transformation, which also includes an upgrade to Arts Center Melbourne, as well as the new Melbourne Arts Center Creativity Centre.

The planned area will feature art, design and fashion as well as national and international architecture, and will feature 18,000 square meters of public space.

It has been labeled as Melbourne’s answer to the Eiffel Tower.

Miss Fox, who is also a board member of the NGV, said the prize was “the culmination of years of passionate support” for the gallery.

“We hope that the donations we make will inspire others to support this program to make this an icon for the future,” he said in a statement.

The new site at Southbank is expected to be completed in 2028.

The arts industry has been badly affected by the COVID-19 restrictions which have seen thousands of artists and performers laid off from their jobs as shows and galleries are closed.

Melbourne is also the city that spends the most time on lockdown in the world. The usually thriving arts and food capital spent more than 245 days in lockdown, across six separate periods.

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