Australia's richest woman, billionaire Gina Rinehart, demands her portrait be removed from gallery | Trending - Hindustan Times
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Australia's richest woman, billionaire Gina Rinehart, demands her portrait be removed from gallery

May 17, 2024 08:20 PM IST

Billionaire Gina Rinehart, 70, is a mining heiress, who is the daughter of an iron ore explorer in Australia.

Gina Rinehart, the richest woman in Australia, has demanded that the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) remove her portrait from public display at an ongoing exhibition, the BBC reported, quoting local media.

Gina Rinehart is also Australia's second-largest cattle producer.
Gina Rinehart is also Australia's second-largest cattle producer.

Twenty-one paintings are on display at an exhibition titled “Australia in Colour” in the gallery in Australia's capital, Canberra. The artworks are by aboriginal artist Vincent Namatjira, who is best known for his caricature style.

The artwork includes the Late Queen Elizabeth II, American musician Jimi Hendrix, Australian Aboriginal rights activist Vincent Lingiari, and the former Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison.

How did NGA react to the removal request?

In a statement to CNN, the NGA said that it “welcomes public dialogue on its collection and displays”.

The statement further read: “Since 1973, when the National Gallery acquired Jackson Pollocks’ Blue Poles, there has been a dynamic discussion on the artistic merits of works in the national collection, and/or on display at the Gallery. We present works of art to the Australian public to inspire people to explore, experience and learn about art.”

What did the artist say?

Vincent Namatjira said that he paints “wealthy, powerful and significant” people who have influenced him and his country—“whether directly or indirectly, whether for good or for bad,” reported CNN.

“I paint the world as I see it. People don’t have to like my paintings, but I hope they take the time to look and think, ‘why has this Aboriginal bloke painted these powerful people? What is he trying to say?’” Namatjira told CNN.

He added, “Some people might not like it, other people might find it funny but I hope people look beneath the surface and see the serious side too.”

About Gina Rinehart

She is the only daughter of the late mining magnate Lang Hancock. Over thirty years ago, she inherited her father's business, Hancock Prospecting, and has turned it into a company now estimated to be worth billions. Rinehart is the executive chairman of Hancock Prospecting.

Rinehart, 70, has a net worth of $30.9 billion. She is also the second-largest cattle producer in Australia, according to Forbes.

In 2011, she was sued by one of her twin daughters over what reports said was a commercial dispute.

Gina Rinehart married twice, first to taxi driver Greg Hayward, with whom she had a son and daughter, and then to Frank Rinehart, a lawyer who died in 1990. They have twin daughters, including Hope, who launched the lawsuit.

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