Second Berkshire Museum art sale protest schedule for Park Square

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PITTSFIELD — A group who opposes Berkshire Museum's pending auction will hold a demonstration today at Park Square.

The group's action begins at 11 a.m. and will feature several speakers, including Carol Diehl, Linda Cleary, Hope Davis and Sharon Gregory.

Members of Save the Art said in a press release they're requesting the museum delay its plan to sell art as a means to fund its reinvention.

The museum in July announced its decision to auction the works as part of its New Vision, a $60 million reinvention plan for the 114-year-old South Street institution.

"These 40 works are part of the irreplaceable cultural legacy of Pittsfield and Berkshire County," reads Save the Art's release. "We are committed to the Museum's future viability and ask the board to reconsider their decision. We are confident that saving the art and ensuring the Museum's success are fully compatible goals.

The auction, which will be run by Sotheby's, is expected to yield at least $50 million. The museum has said something must be done to ensure the museum's long-term viability. Without changes, the county's first museum will be out of cash within six to eight years, Van Shields, the museum executive director, told The Eagle this summer.

Protesters at Saturday's demonstration will don black as a means to express mourning for the likely loss of the artwork.

Reach Amanda Drane at 413-496-6296, or @amandadrane on Twitter.


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