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MOCA Turns Down LACMA's Merger Offer, Wants to Stay Independent

Outside MOCA, in Downtown (Photo by Vancayzeele Olivier Goes To Miami! via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Looks like the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will not be bedfellows after all.

Today the MOCA Board of Trustees turned down an offer from LACMA to merge with the art museum, saying instead they'd prefer to remain an independent institution, according to City News Service. MOCA had reportedly sought out the proposal from LACMA.

"The board understands that this will require a significant increase in MOCA's endowment to ensure its strong financial standing," according to the board. "We are working quickly toward that goal, while at the same time exploring all strategic options, to honor the best interest of the institution and the artistic community we serve."

Also objecting to the merger was a group formed a few years ago when MOCA's future seemed in peril, MOCA Mobilization, who posted their letter to the MOCA Board online. They write:

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MOCA refers to itself as The Artists Museum -- its relationship to the arts community has always been its strength. It is, we believe, essential that the Board organize a public forum and take input from the arts community prior to making a decision on any merger or partnership plans.

The terms of the proposed LACMA-MOCA merger were not made public.

Previously: LACMA Poised to Take Over MOCA