Estee Lauder heir gives away $1bn of Cubist art

Leonard A. Lauder, alongside the cosmetic firm's model Elizabeth Hurley. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/ABACA/Press Association Images

The heir to the Estee Lauder cosmetics empire has donated more than $1 billion (£650 million) worth of Cubist art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Leonard A. Lauder's collection comprises 78 signature paintings, drawings and sculptures from an art movement, figure-headed by Pablo Picasso and George Braque, which is regarded as the 20th century's most influential.

The Met hailed the 80-year-old tycoon's gift of 33 Picassos and 17 Braques, along with 14 works by Fernand Leger and 14 works by Juan Gris, as "truly transformational" for the gallery.