PHILADELPHIA, PA (AP).-
Leaders from Philadelphia's arts and philanthropic communities are celebrating the groundbreaking for the new downtown home of the Barnes Foundation
The groundbreaking Friday morning comes after years of legal battles over the future of the foundation and its multibillion-dollar art collection. Despite an unmatched collection of Matisses, Picassos, Cezannes and Renoirs, the Barnes said it would go broke if it stayed in its suburban Merion location.
Barnes board chairman Bernard Watson told the crowd of 200 guests that the move guarantees the collection will be protected and its mission will be preserved.
About 20 opponents of the move protested outside the event. They say moving the Barnes is a pork barrel project that breaks the will of Dr. Albert Barnes.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.