Lucky Montreal

May 30 2012

Image of Lucky Montreal

Picture: MMFA

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has scooped the donation of a $75m collection of important Old Masters. The Michael Hornstein collection includes the above Jan Lievens, Elderly Scholar in His Study. The Montreal Gazette reports:

As a young man, Michal Hornstein narrowly escaped a cattle car bound for the Auschwitz concentration camp. As a successful Montreal businessman, and inspired by his wife, Renata, he amassed an art collection that garnered international acclaim.

On Friday, Michal and Renata Hornstein formally gave that collection – 70 to 80 works valued at more than $75 million – to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. There was one condition. “It is very important for us to share our collection with the public. People should see the works we have,” Hornstein said during a low-key media conference.

That meant the bulk of the works had to be on display – not in storage – and be accessible free of charge to the public “at least two days a week,” the 92-year-old said. The MMFA – whose permanent collections are offered free all week – will house the Hornstein Collection in a $18.5-million pavilion of international art to be built on Bishop St. and linked to the Jean-Noel Desmarais Pavilion.

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