Lindsay Fox AC and Paula Fox AO made the donation to celebrate its 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 in honor of 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 told 9News that this latest contribution was his wife’s idea.
“She said I wanted money for the gallery…then she told me how much…but it was too late…I had signed the check,” he joked .
Ms Fox said her husband had no hesitation when she asked him to make the donation.
“How could I say no after 62 years of marriage?” said Mr. Fox.
Ms Fox, who is on the gallery’s board, said the building will “bring so much to Victoria”.
“We love the state. And I think it’s nice to give back,” she said.
The building will rise to 77 Southbank Boulevard in Southbank and will house contemporary art, design, fashion and architecture of local, national and international significance across 13,000m² as part of a revamp of Melbourne’s Arts District .
Creative Industries Minister Danny Pearson said the donation was “an amazing gift for the people of Victoria”.
Construction of the building is expected to begin later this year and be completed by 2028.
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The government hasn’t revealed the total cost of the new gallery, but it has earmarked $1.7 billion for work across the arts district.