Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kick out the FTC to make room for art? -- posted by Florida Fine Art Blog

Fred Hiatt, Editorial Page Editor for the Washington Post has an interesting article about a power struggle going on in Washington D.C.

Rep. John Mica,  chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, wants to kick the Federal Trade Commission from its historic quarters at Pennsylvania and Constitution avenues and let the National Gallery of Art move in.

“You won’t believe me, but this is my only priority as chairman,” he says — a fact that has the commissioners sputtering.  “I know the commissioners think I hate them,” Mica says, with the air of a man who’s not losing much sleep over that little misunderstanding. “That’s not the truth. . . . They’re an important agency. I’m not trying to kick dirt in their face.”

What he is trying to do, Mica says, is help the National Gallery rival the great museums of other world capitals: the Louvre, the Prado, the National Gallery in London. As an art lover, collector and frequent museum visitor, Mica explains, it pains him that much of the National Gallery’s collection has to be kept in the equivalent of the attic.

When I ask how his project will play among penny-pinching Republicans, Mica replies, “If they don’t like art, look at the finances.” By consolidating the FTC, which is leasing a couple of satellite sites, he argues, and by offloading to the National Gallery’s private donors the $200 million-plus cost of renovating the seven-decade-old FTC building, taxpayers will save money and the Federal Triangle will be enriched for visitors and Washingtonians.

Link To Article at the Washington Post
National gallery of Art website

Truly one of the best art collections in the world.  Thanks to generous donations made over the years all of the work in the collection is owned by the American people.  The idea of expanding the space so that more of the collection can be seen is long overdo.  Whole collections of work have had to wait in storage for the rare opportunity of being hung.  The museum is a rare gift; the artwork is owned by the American people and there is no fee for visiting.  If possible the museum should be expanded. GL

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