Press Release

Tate announces naming of Tate Modern’s new building after philanthropist Len Blavatnik

Blavatnik Building, Tate Modern. Photo © Iwan Baan

Blavatnik Building, Tate Modern. Photo © Iwan Baan

Tate is delighted to announce that the new building at Tate Modern is to be named the Blavatnik Building in recognition of the lead donation from the Blavatnik Family Foundation headed by the global industrialist and philanthropist Len Blavatnik.

The gift, which was pledged in 2011, well before the opening of the new Tate Modern, is one of the largest ever made in Tate’s history.

Len Blavatnik (59) is a major international industrialist and philanthropist. He was born in the Soviet Union and emigrated to the US with his family in 1978, becoming a US citizen in 1984. In addition, he became a UK citizen in 2010.

He has advanced degrees from Columbia and Harvard Universities, and sits on academic boards at Harvard and Tel Aviv University. He has long taken a close and active interest in higher education and in 2010 funded the establishment of the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. He has funded programmes at Cambridge for the Judge Business School and the Blavatnik Israel Fellows. He sits on the Board of Governors of the New York Academy of Sciences, and sponsors the annual Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the US, the UK and Israel to honour outstanding young scientists and engineers.

In Britain, the Blavatnik Family Foundation has over the years funded projects and exhibitions for a wide range of institutions and causes, including the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Academies of Arts and of Engineering, the Royal Foundation, the Museum of London, the Imperial War Museum, the Royal Opera House, the British Museum, and the V&A. In 2016 the Foundation funded the new Hall at the V&A redevelopment.

The new Tate Modern opened to the public on 17 June 2016. Created by world-leading architects Herzog & de Meuron, it is the most important new cultural building to open in the UK for almost twenty years. Since its opening date, it has received over six million visitors.

Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: ‘The generosity of this gift is almost unprecedented in Tate’s history. The transformation and extension of Tate Modern was hugely ambitious and relied on many people to bring it to fruition, but Len Blavatnik’s enthusiastic support ensured the successful realisation of the project and I am delighted that the new building now bears his name. The six million visitors who have already experienced the Blavatnik Building since it opened in June 2016 know what a huge difference it has made to Tate Modern and to London.’

Len Blavatnik said: ‘My family and I are honoured to support Tate, and to be linked to this exceptional building. Tate provides incomparable service to the arts, culture and education throughout the world.’

The Tate Modern Project was made possible by a number of significant donations from public funders including a £50m investment from the Government, £7m from the Greater London Authority and £1m from Southwark Council as well as a number of private individuals, trusts and foundations.