Art of the Steal, The

Rating = B-

The Barnes Foundation which owns a $25 billon collection of art which its founder wanted left in perpituity in the building and art school he built for it in a residential suburb outside of (4.52 miles from) downtown Philadelphia. The Philadelphia elite for decades wanted to have the art moved to downtown Philadelphia. This documentary describes the long, conspirital, effort to get around and eventually break the terms of Barnes's will. The lesson is that you cannot control what happens with your property after you die, especially if it is worth $25 Billion. Eventually trustees of the will, politicians, courts, etc., will decide that it is in the best interests of maintaining the spirit of the will to ignore the terms of the will.

I don't think the documentary is particularly well done, but it is an interesting story.

[2010-03-25, Cape Cinema, Dennis, MA]