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John Schaeffer, famous art collector dies after being hit by a car in Sydney's CBD

Renowned Australian art collector, John Schaeffer, has died aged 79 after he was struck by a ute.

Mr Schaeffer died on Tuesday night after a Ford Ranger utility allegedly reversed into him on Macquarie Street in Sydney’s CBD on Monday around 5pm.

The 79-year-old had bought, sold and collected some of the most valuable artwork to come into Australia.

Renowned Australian art collector, John Schaeffer, (pictured with wife Bettina Dalton) has died aged 79 after he was struck by a ute

Renowned Australian art collector, John Schaeffer, (pictured with wife Bettina Dalton) has died aged 79 after he was struck by a ute

The businessman has a wing named after him at the Art Gallery of NSW where he is a life governor, as well as being a member of the National Gallery of Australia Foundation board.

After moving to Australia from the Netherlands in the 1950s, Mr Schaeffer set up his own cleaning business, Tempo.

The service became the largest contract cleaning business in Australia by 2000 as Mr Schaeffer went on to be named on the BRW Rich List worth $110million.

His first art purchase was a record breaking $200,000 Norman Lindsay painting in the 1970s. 

Some of the most notable pieces Mr Schaeffer collected were pieces from Pre-Raphaelite artists.

He also had a passion for paintings and sculptures from 17th to 19th century artists. 

Managing Director of Christies Australia, Roger McIlroy, who had sold some of Mr Schaeffer’s art said he was extremely passionate.

‘He was also incredibly generous as a patron, even at times when he probably shouldn’t have been given his various financial issues,’ Mr McIlroy told The Sydney Morning Herald. 

The 79-year-old was also a large name in the property business and bought a string of multi-million dollar homes over the decades

The 79-year-old was also a large name in the property business and bought a string of multi-million dollar homes over the decades

‘John was passionate about art and passionate about sharing it, he wasn’t interested in the money, he was interested in the art.’ 

The 79-year-old was also a large name in the property business and bought a string of multi-million dollar homes over the decades.

In 2002, the art collector set a record for the highest residential sale snapping up a $20.7million home in Sydney’s Elizabeth Bay.

He bought a $7million apartment in Bondi Beach in 2016 followed by a $20.5million home in 2017 in Bellevue Hill.

Mr Schaeffer leaves behind his wife, film producer Bettina Dalton, his daughter and three grandchildren.

The driver of the Ford Ranger was granted bail and will appear in court in August. 

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