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Eyal Ofer and Idan Ofer
Left: Tal Cohen/Shutterstock; Right: Nick Harvey/Shutterstock

Eyal Ofer and Idan Ofer

London

Shipping

Contemporary art; Impressionism; Modern art

Overview

During his lifetime, shipping magnate Sammy Ofer was the richest man in Israel. When he died in 2011, splitting his billionaire-dollar estate—which included a stockpile of Impressionist and modern masterpieces rumored to include pieces by Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso—was simple. Accountants divvied up the holdings, and Ofer’s sons, Eyal and Idan, were instructed to pick an envelope out of a hat. The contents of the envelope they selected would decide the specifics of their multimillion-dollar inheritance. They have since assured reporters that there are no hard feelings about the way it all played out among the Ofer family’s members. “My brother and I were very peaceful about it,” Idan told Bloomberg in 2017. “He’s living happily ever after and so am I.”

Both brothers are now billionaires. In 2019 Forbes valued Idan and Eyal’s net worth at around $5 billion and $9.3 billion, respectively. The Eyal Ofer Family Foundation has been a powerful patron of London’s Tate Modern, donating $15.2 million in 2013 to the museum as it readied what was, at the time, the institution’s largest expansion. Their gift helped fund a new building named after them and dedicated to contemporary visual art and performance. The new space increased the museum’s size by 60 percent. In recognition of such a large donation, Tate named one of the new spaces at the museum the Eyal Ofer Galleries. Idan’s wife, Batia, is active in the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and sponsors an exhibition and auction of artworks by established and upcoming contemporary artists, including Tracey Emin.

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