Australian businessman Michael Hintze has made a £2 million donation towards the “incredible inheritance” of the National Gallery in London.
© National Gallery
The philanthropist and his wife, Dorothy, will have Room 8 of the institution named after them for a gift gallery planners will use to refurbish spaces in the Wilkins Building, adding “state-of-the-art” conditioning systems to control the lighting and environment inside the gallery.
“The National Gallery has an extraordinary collection that Dorothy, our children and I enjoy enormously,” said Hintze.
‘We are all custodians of this incredible inheritance. It is both a privilege and an obligation for us to be able to make a contribution to help preserve such national treasures for future generations.
“We have always sought to give back to those institutions that have enriched and given so much to our lives. Private benefactors have historically formed two-thirds of the National Gallery’s support, and in these difficult economic times the commitment of private individuals is especially important
National Gallery Director Dr Nicholas Penny echoed Hintze’s views.
“At a time when the need to support the arts has never been greater, we salute Michael and Dorothy Hintze and other philanthropists like them who play such a significant role in safeguarding the arts,” he said, praising Hintze’s previous major donations to Wandsworth Museum, the Old Vic theatre and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
“They have the vision to recognise the importance of protecting our cultural treasures and understand how these treasures enrich society.
“This magnificent gift will have a direct influence on the experience of our visitors.”
The Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has repeatedly encouraged philanthropy through initiatives such as The Big Give.
“I would like to pay tribute to the support and generosity shown by Michael and Dorothy Hintz,” he said.
“Giving money to arts and culture is an incredibly public-spirited thing to do and this is one of a number of generous gifts made by two exceptional people.
“Their gift to the National Gallery is truly inspirational and I hope others will be moved to follow their example.”