BILBAO.-Spain's Guggenheim Museum says it has fired its chief financial officer for allegedly embezzling some US$800,000. The popular modern art museum said in a statement that the problems came to light at the beginning of April during an internal audit.
Roberto Cearsolo Barrenetxea has confessed to the embezzlement and returned 287,000 euros to the museum, Guggenheim Bilbao director Juan Ignacio Vidarte said.
The museum has made a formal complaint to a Bilbao court accusing Cearsolo of accounting irregularities found in the books of two funds set up in the 1990s to finance the museum's activities.
Officials said Mr Barrenetxea had confessed to transferring a total of 487,000 euros ($776,000; £394,000) from companies linked to the museum into his personal account since 1998. To be more precise, ge attached a spreadsheet with all his withdrawals which started in 1998. In total, Cearsolo disposed of money 23 times.
The revelation has prompted the museum to undergo an extensive audit of its finances, though officials described the situation as an "isolated case."
The accused had been working for 16 years at the museum. He worked there when the museum was still a project in 1992.