Israeli Family Underwrites Tate Modern

Tate Modern will receive a major gift of £10 million from one of Israel's richest families to support the completion of the new development of Tate Modern.

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network are delighted to see full funding of this important addition to the museum.

The gift from the Eyal Ofer Family Foundation will contribute to the expansion of one of London’s most visited cultural attractions and will reinforce London’s leading position as a global centre of contemporary art.

Tate Modern will name the exhibition galleries on Level 3 East the Eyal Ofer Galleries. This suite has housed many significant shows since the gallery opened in 2000, including Matisse Picasso, Edward Hopper and Gauguin.

Sir Nicholas Serota, Museum Director, said: "I am delighted that the Eyal Ofer Family Foundation has chosen to make such a major contribution towards Tate Modern’s future. It is exciting to see such outstanding philanthropy continuing from one generation to the next. The generosity of Eyal Ofer and his family will help to make Tate Modern a truly twenty-first century museum.”

Eyal Ofer, pictured here, is an international shipping billionaire whose business interests include a vast global real estate portfolio. He is chairman of Zodiac Maritime Agencies, a privately-held London-based corporation with a diversified fleet of more than 150 shipping vessels. He also controls stakes in Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Mizrahi Tefahot bank.

His family has a long tradition of philanthropy in the UK and overseas. Eyal and his brother Idan inherited their fortune from their father, Sammy Ofer, who was once Israel's richest man and contributed to major cultural projects in London and elsewhere.

The senior Ofer personally underwrote the Sammy Ofer Wing of the National Maritime Museum (opened in 2011), and the restoration of the Cutty Sark in Greenwich (opened in 2012).

Eyal Ofer himself has continued that philanthropic tradition, supporting numerous other projects including the Royal Row Barge 'Gloriana' for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Through this donation from the Eyal Ofer Family Foundation, Eyal Ofer aims to provide continuity to his family’s legacy of charitable giving and to broaden public access to contemporary art in the future.

When the completed project opens, it will provide more space for art from around the world and enable Tate Modern to explore new areas of contemporary visual culture involving photography, film, video and performance, enriching its current program for a broader audience.

Eyal Ofer said: “Tate Modern is one of the world’s great public art institutions. So it is my privilege to be supporting this development project as it expands the gallery’s exhibition space and enables an iconic institution to enhance the experience and accessibility of contemporary art for an even broader range of visitors from across the UK and abroad.”

Tate Modern’s development, to be completed in 2016 at the latest, will be Britain’s most important new building for culture since the creation of the British Library in 1998. It will increase Tate Modern’s size by 60%, adding approximately 21,000 square metres of new space. The Ofer Family Foundation’s gift brings the total raised so far to 85% of the £215 million capital costs.

Construction work is currently underway on the installation of a new bridge across Tate Modern’s iconic Turbine Hall to join the existing galleries on Level 4 to the new building. A lattice of columns can also be seen rising above ground behind Tate Modern to the south to form the new building’s perimeter around its concrete core.