Letter: Lawmakers must revisit stance on museum

Posted
To the editor:

I am distressed to say that I am unable to convince our state senator, Adam Hinds, my state representative, Smitty Pignatelli, and Pittsfield's state representative, Tricia Farley-Bouvier, that they should publicly support the preservation of the Berkshire Museum, which serves all the Berkshires and beyond, by preventing the sale of its most financially valuable holdings, which are also among its masterpieces most beloved by the community.

The representatives and senator are concerned about respecting the wishes of those who want a science/tech museum, but they appear deaf to the notion that science/tech interests are met in other venues in our community, and that, if a need exists for more science/tech, that need can be met without destroying the Berkshire Museum building and its art. The refusal to consider the many other alternatives that have been offered suggests that something other than the needs of the community is afoot.

It was obvious from the start that there was something to hide in an undertaking transacted in secrecy, something that could not withstand public scrutiny. Larry Parnass's outstanding reporting in The Eagle on the behind-the-scenes self-dealing of the museum's board and executive director has borne out what has felt suspicious all along.

Are our representatives and senator too naive to pick up on this? Or are they unconcerned? Their assurances that they are working behind the scenes become less and less convincing. There's no way to know if what they say is true because it, too, is secretive; if it's true that they're working behind the scenes, then they are ineffective against the museum leadership's wall of resistance to public questions and objections. If they are not in fact working behind the scenes but going along with the museum's preposterous blind "vision," then they don't understand the public good that a museum serves, though as public servants it's their obligation to serve the public good.

I would love to know what their experiences with the museum were as children and with their own children, what they would experience as they walk galleries of the museum now, with knowledgeable guides, as they view and take in the harvest of skill and real vision that the museum's collection offers.

Roberta Russell,

Lenox



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