Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On loopholes

I wanted to address a point Assemblyman Brodsky made to Lee Rosenbaum regarding the expiration of the Board of Regents' "emergency" rules on deaccessioning:

"Another loophole, Brodsky asserted to me after he read this post, is that the old regs (under Paragraph 6-ii) did permit the use sale proceeds for operating expenses, if the institution first changed its corporate purpose so as not to include collecting the type of material to be sold."

He says "this had been cured" in the now expiring amendment to the regulations.

First of all: really? This is what we're worried about now? That museums are going to play games with their corporate purposes so they can dump their collections? Those devious museums, you never know what they'll do in their relentless drive to rid themselves of their art.

But second, I don't see the loophole at all. Take a look at the existing rules. The part about the corporate purpose is in Paragraph 6(ii). But look at Paragraph 6(vi). It says the institution shall "ensure that proceeds derived from the deaccessioning of any property from the institution's collection be restricted in a separate fund" and "in no event shall proceeds derived from the deaccessioning of any property from the collection be used for operating expenses." That's true no matter what your corporate purpose is. So where's the loophole?