Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian - Lisboa, Portugal
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member manchanegra
N 38° 44.280 W 009° 09.294
29S E 486537 N 4287714
Quick Description: The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation was named after the Armenian Milionaire Calouste Gulbenkian.
Location: Lisboa, Portugal
Date Posted: 12/14/2011 3:00:35 AM
Waymark Code: WMDADH
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Jake39
Views: 10

Long Description:
The Building/Location:
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Portuguese: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian) is a Portuguese private foundation of public utility whose statutory aims are in the fields of arts, charity, education, and science. Created by a clause in the will of Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, a Portugal-based petrol magnate of Armenian origin, the Foundation's statutes were approved in 1956.

The head-office is located in Lisbon. The large premises, opened in 1969, comprise the head-office itself and the museum, and were designed by Ruy Athouguia, Pedro Cid, and Alberto Pessoa. In addition to the areas occupied by the Foundation's management and various departments, the premises include a large auditorium, a space for temporary exhibitions, a congress area with auditoriums and other rooms, as well as a large building that houses the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum and the Art Library. The entire complex is set in the Gulbenkian Park, which was designed by Ribeiro Telles. In 1983, the Modern Art Centre, consisting of a museum and an education centre, was opened at one end of the park. The Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (a science institute) is situated inside a multi-building complex in Oeiras (outskirts of Lisbon), near the palace of the Marquis of Pombal. The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation also has a delegation in the United Kingdom (UK Branch) and a centre in Paris (the Calouste Gulbenkian Cultural Centre). The Gulbenkian Orchestra is one of the major orchestras in Portugal.

Partex, a Portuguese oil extraction company, is fully owned by the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
(From Wikipedia)

The Person:
Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian (23 March 1869–20 July 1955) was an Armenian businessman and philanthropist. He played a major role in making the petroleum reserves of the Middle East available to Western development. By the end of his life he had become one of the world's wealthiest individuals and his art acquisitions considered one of the greatest private collections.

His Life:
Calouste Gulbenkian was born in Üsküdar, in Constantinople (now Istanbul), Ottoman Empire, the son of an Armenian oil importer/exporter. His father sent him to be educated at King's College London, where he studied petroleum engineering, and then to examine the Russian oil industry at Baku. While still in his twenties he lived in London arranging deals in the oil business. After becoming a naturalized British citizen in 1902, he was involved in arranging the 1907 merger resulting in Royal Dutch/Shell and emerged from that effort as a major shareholder. His habit of retaining five per cent of the shares of the oil companies he developed earned him the nickname "Mr. Five Percent".

In 1912 Gulbenkian was the brain behind the creation of the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC)—a consortium of the largest European oil companies aimed at cooperatively procuring oil exploration and development rights in the Ottoman Empire territory of Iraq, while excluding other interests. A promise of these rights was made to the TPC, but the onset of World War I interrupted their efforts.

During the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire after the war, Iraq came under British mandate. Heated and prolonged negotiations ensued regarding which companies could invest in the Turkish Petroleum Company. The TPC was granted exclusive oil exploration rights to Iraq in 1925. The discovery of a large oil reserve at Baba Gurgur provided the impetus to conclude negotiations and in July 1928 an agreement, called the "Red Line Agreement", was signed which determined which oil companies could invest in TPC and reserved 5% of the shares for Gulbenkian. The name of the company was changed to the Iraq Petroleum Company in 1929. Actually, the Pasha had given him the entire Iraqi oil concession, but he gave the rest away to corporations able to develop the whole, growing wealthy on the remainder. He reputedly said, "Better a small piece of a big pie, than a big piece of a small one."

Gulbenkian amassed a huge fortune and an art collection which he kept in a private museum at his Paris house. His four-storey, three-basement house on Avenue d'Iéna was said to be crammed with art, a situation ameliorated in 1936 when he lent thirty paintings to the National Gallery, London and his Egyptian sculpture to the British Museum. He was president of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) from 1930–1932, resigning as a result of a smear campaign by the Soviet Armenian government.

In 1938, before the beginning of the Second World War, Gulbenkian incorporated in Panama a company to hold his assets in the oil industry. It was from this "Participations and Explorations Corporation" which came the name Partex (now called the "Partex Oil and Gas (Holdings) Corporation" and which is now a subsidiary of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation headquartered in Lisbon).

By the outset of the Second World War, he had acquired diplomatic immunity as the Iraqi Minister in Paris and he followed the French government when it fled to Vichy, serving the Pétainist Vichy France regime as its Iranian minister. He left France in late 1942 for Lisbon and lived there until his death in a suite at the luxurious Aviz Hotel. His Armenian wife died in 1952. They had two children, a son Nubar and a daughter Rita, who would become the wife of Iranian diplomat Kevork Loris Essayan.

At the time of his death in 1955, Gulbenkian's fortune was estimated at between US$280 million and US$840 million. After undisclosed sums willed in trust to his descendants, the remainder of his fortune and art collection were willed to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian), with US$300,000–400,000 to be reserved to restore the Etchmiadzin Cathedral in Echmiadzin, Armenia, when relations with the Soviet Union permitted. The Foundation was to act for charitable, educational, artistic, and scientific purposes, and the named trustees were his long-time friend Baron Radcliffe of Werneth, Lisbon attorney José de Azeredo Perdigão, and his son-in-law Kevork Loris Essayan. The Foundation established its headquarters and the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum (Museu Calouste Gulbenkian) in Lisbon to display his art collection.

Gulbenkian is buried in Châteauneuf.
(From Wikipedia)
Year it was dedicated: 1956

Location of Coordinates: Main Entrance of the Foundation

Related Web address (if available): [Web Link]

Type of place/structure you are waymarking: Building and Gardens

Visit Instructions:
  • Please post a comment and photo.
  • A "visited" only remark will be deleted.
  • A "visited" remark by the 'Waymark Owner' at the time of posting is not appreciated and won't be accepted. If visiting at another time a "Visit" would be acceptable.
Search for... Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest People-Named Places
Nearest Geocaches
Nearest Benchmarks
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Kelux visited Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian - Lisboa, Portugal 8/21/2007 Kelux visited it