Sunday, July 22, 2007

Latest Last Gasp

Saturday's New York Times had a report on the "latest attempt" to keep the Barnes Foundation from moving:

"[Lower Merion] has passed a zoning ordinance that would more than double the visitors allowed each year .... The Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners passed the zoning change on Wednesday, but the Barnes’s executive director, Derek Gillman, said that the new rules, while helpful, were not enough to keep the collection from moving. 'It will not come close to providing the additional revenue sources that are essential to the financial health of this and all not-for-profit educational institutions,' Mr. Gillman said in a statement."

The Times also reminds us of the previous latest attempt:

"Last month, Montgomery County proposed buying the foundation’s buildings and land for $50 million or more, using money that would be raised through bonds, but the Barnes rejected the offer."

I'll let you know then the next latest attempt gets rejected.

Relatedly, Randy Kennedy had a nice profile in today's Times of "one of the last living links to the eccentric origins of the Barnes," 90-year old painter Harry Sefarbi, who's been there for 54 years. Sefarbi testified in court against the move, "arguing that it would be a 'complete betrayal' of the institution and of Barnes."