PARIS, GERMANY.- German art collector Heinz Berggruen, 93, died in Paris due to a heart attack that took place during his sleep. Heinz Berggruen was one of Europe's most successful art collectors. He was born in Berlin in 1914 and emigrated to the USA in 1936. After the war he founded a gallery in Paris which quickly became a leading address in the international art scene. In 1980 he gave up his gallery work to concentrate on his collection which he has cultivated for four decades. It not only documents Berggruen's deep understanding of modern art but also his personal friendship with the major artists of his time.
After having shown his collection in the National Gallery in London for five years, Heinz Berggruen decided on Berlin, the city of his birth, which provided a perfect home for his collection in the Stüler Building.
In December 2000 the contract about the acquirement of the collection of Heinz Berggruen by the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Foundation of Prussian Cultural Heritage) was signed. Besides Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery), Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery)), Friedrichswerdersche Kirche (Friedrichswerder Church) and Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin, the Berggruen Museum became one of the five columns of the Nationalgalerie (National Gallery). It is still presented in one of the two buildings from the 1850s, the architect Friedrich August Stüler built opposite Charlottenburg Palace.