I just watched (around 3 times) the trailer for the new documentary about the move of the Barnes Collection, The Art of the Steal. It is a beautiful trailer, and it appears to be a very well-done movie about the art and the politics involved in the moving of the collection from Merion, PA to downtown Philadelphia.
I have been following the controversy of the move for a while, beginning with the architectural issues involved in moving the collection into a new building. The architect Robert Venturi spoke out against the seperation of the the art from the buidling that was purpose-built to hold it. He also points out that when the art is moved to Philadelphia the ticket sales will be taxed with the Philadelphia “culture tax“. It is clear there are many forces at work in the moving of this collection, worth $25 billion, and it is an interesting look at the commodification of culture.