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Philippe de Montebello (left), retiring director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with Thomas P. Campbell, at the museum press conference on Sept. 10, 2008
Photo by Don Pollard
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by Charlie Finch

The activation of the 17-mile-long CERN supercollider in Switzerland this week has, in the view of certain German and Indian scientists, raised the anticipation of the creation of a black hole and the subsequent end of the world, thusly: a ray of light will emerge from the Indian Ocean in four years time that will quickly absorb all matter, i.e. the whole Earth, in its vicinity. The boards of New York’s major museums are imagining something similar, and sooner, to their august institutions, whose donor dollars are already being sucked into the black hole of the mortgage crisis, fast-diminishing portfolios and an upcoming round of hedge-fund failures this October.