The Barnes Foundation is expecting to open its new doors in the new museum on May 19, 2011 regardless of the fact that there is yet another lawsuit by the Friends of the Barnes Foundation pending. As always, the Friends are demanding that the masterpieces should not be moved from their original suburban home to Philadelphia.
To recall, the Barnes Foundation was established by an eccentric collector Albert Barnes in Lower Merion, PA to snub the Philadelphia snobs. Disregarding Barnes’ last will and testament, the Foundation trustees began constructing a facility in downtown Philadelphia to relocate the magnificent Barnes collection of French Impressionist paintings et al., in 2009, legitimized by Judge Ott’s 2004 decision.
The old Barnes museum galleries have been closed for a few months already. Notably, the Foundation was strapped for cash until it decided to move and now, it is using a reported sum of $200 million in public and private money to pay for the new facility and establish an endowment. The foundation expects to offer free admission during the inaugural year, made possible by donations from the other friends, PNC Bank and Comcast.