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Re-visiting Barnes — One more time with feeling

On March 18, 2011, a Montgomery County judge will hear from the Barnes Foundation and the state Attorney General’s office their reasons why the case of the Barnes Foundation’s move from its home in Lower Merion Township to the Parkway in Philadelphia should not be reopened.

“The judge’s move follows the filing of a petition Feb. 17 by Friends of the Barnes Foundation seeking to reopen the case based on statements from former state Attorney General Mike Fisher in the documentary film The Art of the Steal. The petition accuses Fisher of misconduct for being involved in Lincoln University’s decision to drop its legal opposition to the transfer of the art collection to a new museum in the city.”

To review: in 2006, Ott approved the move of the famed art collection of Renoirs, Cezannes, and Matisses that has been housed in Lower Merion since the 1920s. If for some reason the court now decides to leave the collection where it is, Philadelphia will have a state of the art empty museum in 2012. Perhaps it could be donated to hold the Russian avant-garde collection currently kept in the dessert in Uzbekistan.

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