The Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art, located in Habima Square, will be comprehensively renovated and upgraded and renamed the Eyal Ofer Building for the Arts. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Tel Aviv municipality announced that the Eyal & Marilyn Ofer Family Foundation had donated $5 million for this purpose.
The pavilion was built 60 years ago with support from the Helena Rubinstein Foundation. Since the Helena Rubinstein Foundation ceased its operations in 2011, however, the building is in need of money to safeguard its future. The Ofer Family Foundation asked the Tel Aviv Museum to ensure that the Helena Rubinstein Foundation's past donation would be memorialized.
The renovations are aimed at restoring the pavilion to its previous state, while improving its display infrastructure, including lighting and climate control in the exhibition and visiting areas, while enhancing visitors' experience.
The pavilion, which has 1,470 square meters of space, was designed 60 years ago by architect Yaakov Rechter, winner of the Israel Prize. His son, Amnon Rechter, who currently heads the same architecture firm, will be responsible for upgrading the building. A café, bar, and museum store will be added to the building in order to attract a larger and younger audience. The design and renovation will take an estimated three years.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, who chairs the Tel Aviv Museum International Board of Governors, said, "I thank the Ofer Family Foundation for its donation to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and I am glad that another cultural assets in Tel Aviv Jaffa - the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art - will be rejuvenated as a result.
Ofer Family Foundation chairperson Eyal Ofer said, "It is a great honor for me and for the Foundation to be part of renovating the pavilion. We are excited to support the important heritage that it represents in the cultural heart of Tel Aviv, and to continue developing it on the basis of the support and past donation of the Helena Rubinstein Foundation, for the benefit of the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa."
Sammy Ofer, Eyal Ofer's father canceled a NIS 20 million donation to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 2006. Ofer made his donation contingent on the construction of a new wing in the museum at a cost of $45 million and the changing of the museum's name to "The Sammy and Aviva Ofer Tel Aviv Museum of Art." Although the name change was approved by the Tel Aviv City Council and the museum's management, it aroused a great public storm. In an announcement published in "Haaretz" at the time under the headline of "Excuse Us for Wanting to Donate," Ofer wrote that in view of the witch-hunt against them, the Tel Aviv municipality, and the museum's management, they would no longer come to the museum's rescue, and had decided to withdraw their donation.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 14, 2019
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