The art collectors Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch gave the city of Berlin 150 paintings, drawings and sculptures by artists including Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte with an estimated value of 120 million euros ($160 million).
Other artists in the collection -- which is focused mainly on surrealism and abstract expressionism -- include Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Max Ernst. A condition for the donation is that part of the collection be put on permanent display in the city’s museums.
“My wife and I are happy that this is a first and decisive step towards keeping our surrealism collection in the Nationalgalerie in the long term,” Heiner Pietzsch said in a statement sent by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. “We know this closes a painful gap in the Nationalgalerie’s collection.”
The couple’s collection was displayed last year at the Neue Nationalgalerie in an exhibition called “Bildertraeume” (Picture Dreams), which attracted 200,000 visitors.
Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit said in the statement that the city is “grateful and happy about this generous gift.”