Met’s interim chief puts $600M expansion on hold
Daniel Weiss’ shortlist includes $140M plan to replace skylights, other smaller projects
The interim head of the Metropolitan Museum of Art wants to slow the pace of major renovations at the cash-strapped museum in an attempt to close a $15 million budget deficit.
Daniel Weiss, the Met’s president who was tapped as interim CEO on March 1 after former chief executive Tom Campbell resigned under pressure, said he’s planning a series of cost-cutting measures to close the shortfall in the museum’s $398 million budget, which includes slowing the pace of renovations.
In particular, plans for the museum’s $600 million expansion of the southwest section into a contemporary art gallery now appear to be on hold indefinitely, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Instead, Weiss is proposing a “decidedly unsexy” $140 million project to replace 60,000 square feet of 1930s-era skylights above the European art galleries. Also on his wish list: a $20 million renovation of British galleries, $5 million renovation for the musical instrument galleries and a renovation of the African wing, which could cost around $60 million.
The slower pace of renovations would be coupled with reeling in costs, Weiss said. “This ship was going a little too fast and turned a little too quickly,” he said.
Other major museums have had budget shortfalls, including the Louvre in Paris and London’s Tate Museum. The Met has raised about $850 million over the past five-and-a-half years, or around $150 million per year.