Sunday, December 06, 2009

"It is easier to assert a conspiracy than to comprehend a complex reality"

The Philadelphia Inquirer prints the comments of Barnes chairman Bernard C. Watson at last month's groundbreaking at the new site. He begins by noting that when he joined the Board of Trustees in 1999, "the foundation's finances were in shambles." He says philanthropists and foundations weren't interested in giving money to "an organization that had a legacy of expensive and distracting litigation, no credible business plan, or a governance structure that would make implementation of such a plan possible." And, he adds, "none of the people who continue to raise their voices in angry objection to moving the collection to the Parkway reached into their pockets to support us in any meaningful way in Merion."

He also says that the move "was, in fact, anticipated by Section 11 of the Barnes Foundation Indenture," which includes the following:

". . . should it for any other reason become impossible to administer the trust hereby created concerning said collection of pictures, then the property and funds contributed by Donor to Donee shall be applied to an object as nearly within the scope herein indicated and laid down as shall be possible, such application to be in connection with an existing and organized institution then in being and functioning in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, or its suburbs."