The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) has announced that local pharmaceuticals magnate George D. Behrakis and his wife Margo have contributed $10 million to the museum as part of its capital campaign.
In recognition of the gift, the MFA will name its Art of the Ancient World wing in honor of Behrakis, the first time it has named something for an individual since 1915. According to the Boston Globe, many of the city's biggest donors are reluctant to be publicly identified for their contributions. By agreeing to be named, museum officials said, Behrakis will make it easier for the museum to recruit other donors to its $500 million expansion campaign, which is scheduled to end in 2010. "I asked [George] because we've talked an awful lot about raising the bar around town," said MFA deputy director Patricia Jacoby. "When you have a donor who is also willing to talk about why he's done it, it makes a huge difference."
With the gift, Behrakis becomes the third "guardian" — a donor of at least $25 million &8212; in the museum's history. In 1998, he sold his last company, Muro Pharmaceutical, Inc. and pledged to spend about 10 percent of the proceeds from the deal on charitable causes.
"If you're going to go forward and be successful, you must put your name out there," Behrakis said. "It doesn't have to be in neon lights. But, it tells others to get off the stick, to give some money."