The Greek shipowner settled in Lausanne,
Switzerland in 1965. Basil P. Goulandris was born on the Island of Andros in
the Aegean Sea. His father, Ioahnis Goulandris, with the help of his five sons,
founded a shipbuilding company to connect the islands of the region. During
the Second World War, the family assisted the Allies and, after the war, received
profitable credits from the Americans.
The Goulandris business, Orion & Global Group, dealt with passenger and cargo transport throughout the world. When Basil assumed control of the company, he made the most of the growth in the fifties and managed one of Greece's largest fleets with over 70 ships. During the Golf War in 1992, the shipowner demonstrated his keen sense of business by renting three supertankers to Iran for a considerable profit.
In 1965, Basil Goulandris and his wife, Elise, moved to a large property of over 20,000 sq.m in Jouxtens-Mézery near Lausanne. They then went to live in Gstaad in the Bernese Alps. Estimated at 1.5 billion, the Goulandris fortune enabled them to support the Greek community in Lausanne and to acquire an extensive collection of paintings, including five works by Van Gogh.
After the death of Basil Goulandris, his wife took care of the Goulandris Foundation, which is dedicated to art and the development of the Island of Andros, until she, too, passed away in July, 2000.