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Metropolitan Museum


by Charlie Finch
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If you read the political pages of the New York Times, David H. Koch is an extreme right-wing oil billionaire who gives millions of dollars to so-called “super PACs” to elect conservative candidates who oppose women's rights, support the poor, gay marriage and everything else essential to an evolving democracy.

If you read the arts pages of the New York Times, specifically today's article on the Metropolitan Museum's proposed renovation of its plaza entrance, written by that eternal poodle of the upper classes Carol Vogel, David H. Koch is "trained as a chemical engineer" and "a philanthropist" donating $60 million to advance the renovation project.

Now, the elites are cunning. Few can disagree that the Met's fountains have been in disrepair forever and that some renovation is needed. Yet even this apparently necessary plan emerges as a means of elite control, for the project is scheduled to begin this fall and stretch on to 2014, and will certainly shut down the front of the Met, specifically the glorious stairs on which everyone gathers, and permanently remove the buskers and street artists, the hot dog vendors and the dog walkers.

Eventually replacing these attractions, following the Met's proposal, will be "museum approved kiosks," plus two dubious, smaller square granite fountains and probably an airport-style security screening facility. Now that the U.S. Senate, in an overwhelming bipartisan majority, has approved the unlimited use of unmanned drone aircraft over our skies, I am sure the Met will have its own drone, financed, of course, by the saintly David Koch.

Enough. Enough of elite manipulation which throws moral responsibility for the despicable acts of a Koch out the window and recreates him as our benefactor. Boycott the Metropolitan Museum of Art until it rejects the Koch cultural bribe and occupy its steps, preventing the proposed and needed renovation, until Koch is rebuffed and rebuked.

CHARLIE FINCH is co-author of Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).