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Wife of leading art museum founder dies

A leading Swiss art museum, the Beyeler Foundation, has announced the death of Hildy Beyeler, the wife of collector Ernst Beyeler. She was 86.

The internationally renowned museum said Beyeler died on Friday.

The Beyelers married in 1948 with Hildy becoming a constant companion in her husband’s art business.

They were both involved in founding Art Basel in the 1970s. It has since become the largest international fair of contemporary art.

The Beyelers opened their museum in 1997. Some 200 works of classic modernism reflect the views of the Beyelers on 20th-century art and highlight works typical of the period from Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Francis Bacon.

In a catalogue published to mark the opening of the Foundation, Ernst Beyeler wrote that his wife supported all his ideas, especially the museum, and had stood by him in difficult times.

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