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THE LAST WORD

Museums in Meltdown

Culture on the Brink of a Deflationary Spiral

By Michael Young

Ripples from the global financial crisis are gathering speed and touching us all. Like an infection, pernicious and uncontrollable, it has no regard for wealth, poverty or geographical remoteness. Money is tight, and nowhere more so than in the world of philanthropy, hit by plummeting stock markets and white-collar fraud. This recession has reduced charitable giving, and art institutions are in serious trouble.

In December, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, with an impressive collection of…

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