Jan Kulczyk, a major funder of Poland’s Jewish museum, dies

Marcy Oster

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — Jan Kulczyk, a businessman and philanthropist who donated $5.5 million to build the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, has died.

Kulczyk died Wednesday in Vienna, Austria, from complications of cardiac surgery. He was 65.

His donation to Poland’s Jewish museum, despite not being Jewish, was the largest single grant from a private donor and allowed the museum, which opened in April 2013, to finish building the core exhibition.

Kulczyk, Poland’s wealthiest citizen, according to Forbes magazine, was the founder and owner of Kulczyk Holdings and the international investment house Kulczyk Investments.

In 2012, Poland bestowed a Patron of Culture medal on Kulczyk for supporting the museum. An auditorium at the museum bears his name.

“Jan Kulczyk helped us when we were in greatest need,” museum representatives said in a statement. “His name will not be forgotten.”

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