California cities vie for the Broad Museum

While Berkeley mulls over the loss of its chance for an Ito-designed museum, another city in California is soon to hit the jackpot, if it is so lucky to be selected as the site for the new Broad Museum. Currently three Californian cities are vying for the cultural facility. And with the chosen one perhaps being required to chip in as little as $1million for the project, you can bet there will be some serious courting going on.

For two years now, billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad has been contemplating building a museum to house his 2000 piece collection of contemporary art, which currently resides at his art foundation where it is lent it out to museums around the globe. While many thought the collection would likely go to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which in 2008 opened a $65 million contemporary art wing designed by Renzo Piano that bears Broad’s name, Broad had plans of his own.

In October 2008, he approached the city of Beverly Hills about possibly building a museum there. And since that time, two other cities, including Santa Monica and an undisclosed municipality in West Los Angeles, have entered the mix. While many believe Beverly Hills to be the frontrunner, Broad would only say this: "We don't know which of those sites are going to work out. None of them are without complications." A decision on the matter will likely come soon. “We don't want this to go on indefinitely, which can happen when you're dealing with cities. It could be three years, and I'm 76 years of age", said Broad.

Plans currently call for a 126,000 sq ft building to house a museum and art foundation. Broad said he would create a $200 million endowment that would generate $12 million a year to operate the facility, which would be largest endowment in the arts in Southern California after to the Getty Museum.

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