Art market Magazine June 2013

 
THE MAGAZINE 
 
MEETING 
 
Jean-Claude Gandur a nostalgic…
THE MAGAZINE

MEETING

Jean-Claude Gandur a nostalgic collector

J

ean-Claude Gandur was positively beaming – with that special smile when works are in the
offing –, as Geneva's Musée d’Art et d’Histoire prepared to unveil the plans for its extension, designed by Jean Nouvel. He is something of a linchpin for the project, thanks to his contribution of 20 million Swiss francs (16.4 million euros), earmarked for implementing the museum's extension, suspended since 2001. At 64, Jean-Claude Gandur is undertaking if not one of his biggest projects, at least the one closest to his heart. With a fortune of

Female head, 3rd century BC, marble, Fondation Gandur pour l'Art, Geneva, Switzerland.

2.1 billion dollars, he is in 704th place in the Forbes list. Having gained experience in oil trading with top raw materials trader Philipp Brothers, the businessman invested in the oil industry, mainly in West Africa and Kurdistan. In 2009, he sold his subsidiary Addax Petroleum to the Chinese company Sinopec for 7.2 billion dollars. His Egyptian antiquities, which are another self, are redolent of a childhood spent in Alexandria, which he regretfully left for Switzerland. They remind us that Jean-Claude Gandur was a historian before his successful development of black gold. His works of art dating from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, and his great love of European abstract painting from the Fifties give us a considerable idea of the man and his refined family background, which made him into the aesthete he is today, as he readily admits. The very different groups represented by nearly three thousand items have always had a whiff of nostalgia and a family connection. As a sponsor, he would be putting less enthusiasm and generosity into his project with the Geneva museum if he didn't want to provide a longterm setting for the work of a lifetime and an everburning passion. Can you pinpoint your reasons for becoming a collector? I've always wondered about the role played by my situation. I was lucky enough to be brought up in a milieu where culture was considered deeply important. We loved beautiful objects. When I was a teenager, my grandmother had the idea of giving me an antique oil lamp, without realising how much effect her action had on me: it undoubtedly triggered my desire to be a collector. Also, I think I was traumatised by the fact that

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GAZETTE DROUOT INTERNATIONAL I N° 26

© FG


MEETING

THE MAGAZINE

HD

Jean-Claude Gandur.

N° 26 I GAZETTE DROUOT INTERNATIONAL

113

© Fondation Gandur pour l'Art, Geneva, Switzerland.
© Alan Humerose/Rezo.ch

Art Market Magazine June 2013
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