Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Why the Rich Want to Give

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Why the Rich Want to Give

Article excerpt

One of the region's best known wealthy philanthropists is Jonathan Ruffer.

Brought up in Stokesley, North Yorkshire, he made a fortune from fund management, and predicted the credit crunch.

He came to general public notice when he bought 13 historic paintings from the Church of England for PS15million - only to give them back to be put on public display.

The 8ft-high Zurbaran art works hung in the Long Dining Room of Auckland Castle, which has been the home to the Bishops of Durham for more than 800 years, and it was feared they might be sold to a foreign buyer.

Ruffer, 59, an Evangelical Christian, had, at the time, never seen the Zurbaran paintings nor visited their home at Auckland Castle, County Durham, where, thanks to his gift, they stayed.

He has since ploughed further millions into the Castle to turn it into a religious museum to attract tourist and boost an economy hurt by the end of the coal industry.

Explaining his philanthropic philosophy with money, Mr Ruffer said in an interview: "There are only three things you can do with it - spend it, save it or give it away. …

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