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City controller calls on District to display locked-away art

Photo: Courtesy of NewsWorks

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Philadelphia’s city controller is calling on the School District to display some long-hidden works of art. Valuable pieces have been sitting in storage for years.

Controller Alan Butkovitz says the District should put on display about 200 pieces of art now in storage. The collection includes paintings by Thomas Eakins and N.C. Wyeth. Altogether, Butkovitz says, they could be worth $4 million to $8 million.

He says the District could follow the examples of Baltimore and Detroit, setting up a big exhibit at a gallery or museum and sell tickets.

"It’s rotting away to nobody’s cultural enrichment. The School District is spending money on it, not making money on it," he said. "It seems like the policymakers over there are paralyzed into inaction on this decision. I want them to do something. We initially wanted them to auction it off so they could produce millions of dollars in revenue. If they are not willing to auction it off, at least let people experience the art."

Read the rest of this story at NewsWorks

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