Letter: Questions about Sotheby's, contractors unanswered

Posted
To the editor:

As a longtime member of the Berkshire Museum's Collections Committee, a longtime curator at the Clark and the curator of two exhibitions at the Berkshire Museum, I ask some simple questions:

What are the financial arrangements with Sotheby's, the auction house handling the sale of as much as $70 million of Berkshire Museum art? What is Sotheby's take?

Mark Gold, the Williamstown attorney working for the Berkshire Museum, is a very fine lawyer. The museum could not have done better in engaging him. Are his fees pegged in any way to the sales price at Sotheby's?

The Berkshire Museum has engaged consultants to help it plan its New Vision project. Do these consultants have two-part contracts, one part governing strategic planning before the sale and another part governing implementation after the sale?

The works of art are held by the museum in trust for the people of Pittsfield and Berkshire County. The public deserves to know how much money auction houses and outside contractors are making on art held to benefit them.

Brian Allen,

Arlington, Vt.




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