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Bye Bye Beverly Hills: Broad Foundation Eyes SaMo for Museum

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Will the SaMo City Council put their seal of approval on the Broad Foundation's proposal? (Photo by GarySe7en via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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It was just a year ago that wealthy philanthropist Eli Broad came to save the day at MOCA by offering the museum a much-needed bailout to help keep it on its feet. By summer, however, the Broad Foundation had begun to chatter publicly about future cultural endeavors, namely a museum of contemporary art of their own. At the time, "Broad said that the museum 'is going to happen' and that it's merely a matter of timing," reported the LA Times. Broad was enthused about having the space in 90210: "Our first choice is the Beverly Hills site." Well, it looks like Broad has bid BH bye, bye, bye, since the Santa Monica City Council is slated this week to discuss the very same proposed museum putting its foundation in their town. On the agenda is the recommendation that they:

consider a conceptual proposal by The Broad Foundations (The Broad Art Foundation and The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation) to finance and work with the City to establish a public museum of contemporary art in the Civic Center, probably through a development agreement or a disposition and development agreement, and direct staff to initiate negotiations with The Broad Foundations.

The new museum would ideally be situated between the Civic Auditorium and the County Courthouse, and the plan would be to not only keep Santa Monica on track with their "goals of promoting the arts and enhancing cultural opportunities in the Civic Center and the City," with a small public pricetag but would also find the Foundations footing most of the bill for the project. They are hoping to land "an internationally renowned architect," and create a "world-class public museum and art archive," operated by the Broad Foundation.

So Yea or Nay, SaMo: Is it time for the City to have a high-profile musuem?