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Belgiorno portrait 

Today, 28 August 2007 the Art Gallery of New South Wales announced that one of the leading arts families in Australia, the Belgiorno-Nettis family, have agreed to donate $4 million to the Gallery over four years in support of its contemporary art galleries.

The Belgiorno-Nettis family and Transfield have had a long association with the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the arts in Australia. Franco served as trustee of the Gallery from 1974 to 1980, was a director of Art Exhibitions Australia (formally ICCA) and was founder and patron of the Biennale of Sydney. Transfield, under Franco’s guidance, was one of the Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation’s earliest supporters when the Foundation was launched in 1983, and continued its support for some ten years.

Franco Belgiorno-Nettis died last year and his last philanthropic decision, with his wife Amina and two of their sons, Guido and Luca, was to commit $4 million to the support of contemporary art at the Gallery.

Franco was a human dynamo with an absolute passion for creativity - for making things. He loved the ferment of ideas that fired the imaginations of artists and engineers alike. As Amina, Luca and Guido will testify, the grass didn’t grow under Franco’s feet and, whilst he seldom gave them time to catch their breath, this inspiration lives on in his family. I am thrilled that our contemporary galleries, which so readily reflect Franco’s vivacious energy and the continuing commitment of the family to creative arts in this country, will bear the Belgiorno-Nettis name.

- Edmund Capon, Director Art Gallery of New South Wales

Guido and Luca Belgiorno-Nettis continue to support the Gallery. Guido, since the beginning of 2007, is on the Gallery’s Board of Trustees and Luca remains on the President’s Council.
This is truly a wonderful act of benefaction and it is therefore fitting that the Gallery, in consultation with the family, has chosen to name the four contemporary galleries on a perpetual basis as the
Franco & Amina Belgiorno-Nettis & family Contemporary Galleries.

- Steven Lowy, President of the Board of Trustees

Media Information

Claire Martin
Press Office, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Images and interviews available on request
Telephone: (02) 9225 1734 or 0414 437 588