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Documentary follows the problems with willing art for public display

artA new documentary that explores the  controversy surrounding who gets control of the $25b modern art collection that was owned by the deceased Albert C Barnes serves as an excellent reminder of just how hard to chase the dream of creating a legacy can be for the extremely wealthy.

The documentary, titled Art of the Steal, focuses on how Barnes wished to leave his collection behind to an institution that would permanently house his European paintings, but over time due to the disagreements that have arisen over how his collection should be placed his vision has become quite blurred.

Now as a result Barnes’ plans to preserve his paintings so that his estate will live on has turned into a new arrangement that will leave the paintings in a public facility located in Philadelphia, which is highly ironic given that it is directly next door to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which Barnes openly hated.

The manipulation and borderline illegal interpretations of wills are common among Americans who are rich and even though the rich may be able to draw up strict instructions that leave them satisfied that their wills will be carried out correctly, often this does not happen.  Instead, power struggles in the legal system afterwards often lead to the exact opposite happening.

In fact, the problem has become so large that the patriarchs of richest families have even taken steps to leave behind 6% of their fortunes to estate lawyers to guarantee that their wishes will be followed after they pass; the film shows the struggles of Barnes to have his wishes fulfilled.


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