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Heinz Berggruen, 2002

Heinz Berggruen (5 January 1914 – 23 February 2007) was a German art dealer and collector who founded the Berggruen Museum [1] in Berlin, Germany.

He was born in Berlin on 5 January 1914 and died in Paris on 23 February 2007. He immigrated to the United States in 1936 and studied at [University of California, Berkeley]. In 1939 he became an "Assistant director" at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In preparing an exhibition about the Mexican painter Diego Rivera he met Frida Kahlo, too, and had a short love affair with her.

After the Second World War he got acquainted with Pablo Picasso in Paris, who spontaneously had confidence in Berggruen and so he became Picasso's art dealer. In 1996, after 60 years in exile, he returned to Germany and opened an art museum in front of the Charlottenburg Palace.

His renowned art collection, valued at $450 million in 2001, included 165 masterpieces by 20th-century masters such as Braque, Matisse, Klee, and Giacometti, with a unique group of 85 works by Picasso.[2]

Berggruen left the art collection in a generous gesture of a low price to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. For this he was awarded the honorary citizenship of Berlin and the Federal Cross of Merit (Grand Cross 2nd Class) of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz, Großes Verdienstkreuz mit Stern und Schulterband).

From 1939 to 1945 Berggruen was married to the US-American Lillian Zellerbach; since 1959 to the German actress Bettina Moissi. His children include John Berggruen, owner of the John Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco; Olivier Berggruen, curator at the Kunsthalle called Schirn Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany; and Nicolas Berggruen, a self-made businessman known for an eccentric and generally low-key lifestyle, with few personal possessions, he has no immediate family, home or car.[3]

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