Corcoran Gallery plan draws objections, support

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 2, 2014 at 3:11 pm •  Published: July 2, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group representing students, alumni, donors and faculty who are working to stop the Corcoran Gallery of Art — one of the nation's oldest museums — and its college from merging with two larger institutions filed a formal objection to the deal Wednesday in D.C. Superior Court.

Lawyers for the nonprofit group Save the Corcoran filed the lawsuit seeking to intervene in the museum's effort to merge with the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University. A deal finalized among the three institutions in May is subject to court approval. The agreement would allow the Corcoran building to continue operating as a museum, though with less than half its current gallery space. More space would be devoted to the art school.

The group's complaint accuses Corcoran Gallery trustees of financial mismanagement, waste and negligence. It seeks a full financial accounting of the Corcoran, the removal of its current board of trustees and a requirement that the entire art collection be kept together.

Plaintiffs in the complaint include students, alumni, faculty, staff, donors and members of the museum.

"There are so many hard questions that need to be answered. We need to start there," said Caroline Lacey, a plaintiff and graduate student, in announcing the complaint. "If the Trustees want to dissolve a national, historic gem, we need to understand every wrong turn."

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