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Barnes Foundation Breaks Ground in Philadelphia
From the left, Councilman Darrell Clark, Mayor Michael Nutter, Barnes board chairman Bernard Watson, U.S. Circuit Judge Marjorie O. Rendell, State Rep. Dwight Evans, D-Philadelphia, and Linda and Hal Robinson take part in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new downtown home of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Friday, Nov. 13, 2009. The groundbreaking Friday morning comes after years of legal battles over the future of the foundation and its multibillion-dollar art collection. AP Photo/Matt Rourke.
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.

Barnes Foundation | Dr. Albert Barnes | Philadelphia | Matisse | Picasso | Cezanne | Renoir |

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