Let’s hear it for Leonard Blavatnik — again. The Odesa-born British-American billionaire, 65, has just donated £10 million towards the National Portrait Gallery’s renovation. That’s his second big donation to a London arts institution this year. Another multimillion-pound gift will enable the Imperial War Museum to open a gallery of war photography, film and art. And prior to that? Beneficiaries of Blavatnik’s philanthropy in the capital now include the Courtauld Gallery (£10 million), Tate Modern (£50 million) and the V&A (£5 million). He also bought the Theatre Royal Haymarket for a reputed £45 million. Outside London there’s also the small matter of his £75 million donation to Oxford University and the £7.7 million he chipped in this year to stop the Honresfield Library of literary manuscripts being sold abroad.
We can only save the arts if we stop sneering at big business
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The Foundation contributes to renowned institutions that showcase the breadth of arts and culture, including performance, exhibition and education.
The Blavatnik Archive is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to preserving and disseminating materials that contribute to the study of 20th-century Jewish and world history, with a special emphasis on World War I, World War II, and Soviet Russia.