Related’s Perez stunned by backlash to $35M museum donation

When Related Group CEO Jorge Perez gave $20 million in much-needed financing to the Miami Art Museum, in addition to $15 million worth of art, he never expected a negative reaction. But the Miami Herald noted that the renaming of the museum, which will now be known as the Jorge M. Perez Art Museum of Miami-Dade County, has drawn much criticism.

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Critics point out that it was taxpayers who voted to fund a $100 million expansion of the museum in 2005, and who will be continually called upon for support in future maintenance of the cultural institution. Therefore, they say, it should remain the Miami Art Museum. Some collectors who donate art to the museum have even withdrawn donations.

“I’m saddened. I never thought this would be the reaction,” Perez told the Herald. “Perhaps stupidly, I thought people would say, ‘This is amazing. Not only has someone stepped up so that this museum can become a reality, but a Cuban American has finally stepped up with a major contribution to the arts in Miami.'” [Miami Herald]