Art collector Eleanor G. Potter breathed her last in 2015, but not before removing the Portland Museum of Art from her will. Now, the museum is suing the new primary beneficiary, AnneMarie Germain. Germain was Potter’s caretaker at during the period preceding her demise.
The Portland museum runs primarily on donor funds. If it weren’t for the changes in Potter’s will, the museum would have received a generous sum of about $2 million. The museum is not accusing Germain of foul play, saying she forced Potter into changing the will. Germain on the other hand claims that the former lawyer of the deceased, Matthew Goldfarb, made Potter put the museum in her will in the first place.
The case will go to trial in July. Until then, we’re left wondering if this is truly a case of foul play, or does the museum just have sour feeling to having lost out on donor funds. The problem is especially relevant as cultural institutions world over face severe cuts in public funding and face a dwindling visitor count. How indeed will museums survive.
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