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Lindsay Fox AC and Paula Fox AO have made the donation in celebration of his 85th birthday, marking the largest cultural gift for a capital program ever made to an Australian art museum by a living donor.
In return, the new building will be named The Fox: NGV Contemporary after the trucking magnate, who founded major Australian logistics company Lindsay Fox.
The donation is far from the first time the Fox family has contributed to the NGV.
Mr Fox has told 9News that this latest contribution was his wife’s idea.
“She said I want some money for the gallery.. then she told me how much.. but it was too late.. I’d signed the cheque,” he joked.
Mrs Fox said her husband didn’t hesitate when she asked him to make the donation.
“How could I say no after being married 62 years?” Mr Fox said.
Ms Fox, who is on the gallery’s board, said the building was going “to add so much to Victoria”.
“We do love the state. And I think it’s lovely to give back,” she said.
The building will go up at 77 Southbank Boulevard in Southbank and will house contemporary art, design, fashion and architecture of local, national and international significance across 13,000sqm as part of a revamp of Melbourne Arts Precinct.
Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson said the donation was “an extraordinary gift to the people of Victoria”.
Construction on the building is due to start later this year and finish by 2028.
The government has not revealed how much the new gallery will cost in total, but it’s set aside $1.7 billion for work across the entire arts precinct.