The Portuguese billionaire José Berardo has bought eight modern and contemporary sculptures by international artists which he plans to put on show in front of the Portuguese parliament in Lisbon next month.
Mr Berardo, chairman of the investments company Metalgest, purchased the pieces from the Cass Sculpture Foundation, a charitable trust based in Goodwood in the south of England.
Wilfred Cass, the charity’s co-founder, told The Art Newspaper that the number of works sold to Berardo was the largest single purchase ever made from the foundation by a foreign collector.
The pieces include Lynn Chadwick’s stainless steel sculpture Ace of Diamonds III (2003); Peter Burke’s Register (2003), made up of 2,000 cast iron copies of the artist’s hand; Zadok Ben-David’s bronze female figure Looking Back (2005); Allen Jones’s Temple (1998); William Furlong’s hollow steel Walls of Sound (1998); and Tony Cragg’s bronze Line of Thought (2002).
Neither Mr Cass nor Mr Berardo would disclose the cost of the works but the current market price for comparable pieces by Cragg is up to $660,000.
Meanwhile, 862 modern and contemporary works from Mr Berardo’s 4,000-piece collection will go on rotating display at Lisbon’s Belem Cultural Centre from July as part of the bil?lionaire’s partnership with the Portuguese government (The Art Newspaper, May 2006, p22).
The state offered the centre as a display space for part of Mr Berardo’s collection on condition that it has the option to buy the works housed there at the end of a ten-year tenure. The centre will be renamed the Berardo Museum. French art historian Jean-François Chougnet has been appointed the new museum’s artistic director.
Over 500 artists are represented in Mr Berardo’s collection including Francis Bacon, Dan Flavin, Bruce Nauman, James Turrell and the Chapman brothers.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Portuguese billionaire’s UK shopping spree'