Hong Kong’s planned museum of visual culture, M+, due to open by 2017 in the West Kowloon Cultural District, has received a major boost—the gift of 1,463 works from the Chinese contemporary holdings of the Lucerne-based collector Uli Sigg, a former Swiss ambassador to China. Sigg has agreed to donate the works, valued at $163m, while the museum will purchase another 47 for $23m. Lars Nittve, the executive director of M+, is due to be in Basel on Friday to take part in a panel discussion about building new world-class museums. At a press conference in Hong Kong yesterday, when the donation was announced, Nittve said it would be “impossible” to build a collection of the same depth and quality now. As well as works by artists including Ai Weiwei, Ding Yi and Fang Lijun, Sigg’s collection includes Zhu Cheng’s Venus de Milo, which is made of panda poo, and was bought in 2010 for a reported $46,000—but this is, sadly, not part of the gift.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Swiss collector’s huge gift to Hong Kong museum'