Potanin Elected to Foundation Board

Potanin Elected to Foundation Board


NEW YORK, NY—January 21, 2002—The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation announced the election of Russian businessman and philanthropist, Vladimir O. Potanin, to its Board of Trustees. The election took place at the December 11, 2001, meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Mr. Potanin, 41, is the President and Chairman of the Board of INTERROS Holding Company, one of the largest private Russian conglomerates with involvement in metallurgy, aero engine, banking, media, and agricultural sectors. He is a major patron of the arts, culture, and education in Russia, and has established the V. Potanin Charity Fund, through which he supports numerous philanthropic activities. In making the announcement, Peter B. Lewis, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Guggenheim, said, "We are delighted to welcome Vladimir Potanin to join the Board. The Guggenheim will benefit immensely from his experience and expertise, and we look forward to his support and enthusiasm as we face the challenges and opportunities ahead."

Mr. Potanin and INTERROS are major supporters of The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. In 2000, the Guggenheim Foundation and The State Hermitage Museum entered into a long-term collaboration agreement to broaden audiences; to share resources; to implement shared exhibition, internet, publishing, and educational initiatives; and to facilitate each institution's long-term goals. The first concrete product of this collaboration was the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas, which opened in October 2001, with the exhibition Masterpieces and Master Collectors: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings from the Hermitage and Guggenheim Museums, sponsored by INTERROS.

Mr. Potanin is playing a prominent role in supporting the next initiative to be jointly undertaken by the Hermitage and Guggenheim museums: the renovation and expansion of The State Hermitage Museum into the 450,000-square-foot General Staff Building on Palace Square in St. Petersburg. The building was designed and built in the early nineteenth century according to plans developed by the Italian architect Carlo Rossi. It will be the home for a major new initiative in twentieth-century art that is a centerpiece of the Hermitage-Guggenheim collaboration. Installations of post-war modern and contemporary art, multi-media installations, and contemporary art and photography from the Guggenheim collections will be installed in the renovated rooms of the General Staff Building.

Mr. Potanin is also actively involved with the Russian State Library, which is the second largest library in the world. He supports new editions of rare books from the Library's archive of over 42 million books and manuscripts. Additionally, the V. Potanin Charity Fund has commissioned several scholarship programs, which provide grants to over 1,700 students from 60 higher educational institutions of Russia and training abroad.

In 1999, Mr. Potanin's company donated $1.4 million to support the reconstruction of the Rostral Columns, one of St. Petersburg's most venerable historic landmarks. This gift was the largest philanthropic donation made by a Russian company or individual since 1917.

In 1999, Mr. Potanin was awarded an Honorary Diploma of the President of the Russian Federation for Charity and Sponsorship Activities of INTERROS Holding Company in the field of arts and culture.

January 21, 2002

For Press Information:
Betsy Ennis, Public Affairs
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Telephone: (212) 423-3840
Telefax: (212) 423-3787
E-mail: bennis@guggenheim.org

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