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Haut Brion, Magrez donate to Bordeaux cultural centre

Chateau Haut Brion, Bernard Magrez, Domaine de Chevalier and other Bordeaux luminaries have donated over €2.5m to the new Bordeaux wine cultural centre.

So far, donations to the €63m centre – which is yet to be named – include €1m from Haut Brion owners Domaines Clarence Dillon, €500,000 from Vignobles Bernard Magrez of Chateau Pape Clement, and €500,000 from Millesima negociants, Lucien Bernard & Cie and Domaine de Chevalier, all of which are owned by branches of the Bernard family.

Joanne negociants has donated €100,000, while another €500,000 comes from the Bordeaux chamber of commerce and Vinexpo.

Several other significant donations are expected to be finalised within the next few months.

Benefactors will have their names displayed at the entrance to the museum, and will play an advisory role on events and exhibits, Philippe Massol, director of the centre, told Decanter.com.

Depending on the amount donated, they will have the opportunity to sponsor specific parts of the museum, from tasting rooms to auditoriums. ‘The money they are donating is of course essential,’ said Massol, ‘but so is the sense of confidence and support that their names bring to the project.’

Patrick Bernard of Millesima told Decanter.com he was very happy to be involved.

‘This is the right project, in the right city. Bordeaux receives around 1.5m visitors per year, attracted by our reputation as a world wine capital. We are also a UNESCO World Heritage city, and this cultural centre further demonstrates the ambition of Bordeaux.’

The cultural centre hopes to attract 425,000 visitors per year, exploring 15 themes in the permanent exhibition space, with frequent workshops, tastings and interactive events. The centre hopes to create 750 jobs, and to bring around €40m annually into the local economy.

The centre hopes to eventually cover 20% of its initial costs through donations. Opening is now set for June 2015.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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