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Friday, November 16th, 2012
The Gund Foundation and members of the Gund family are doubling down on the Cleveland Museum of Art’s big expansion and renovation project with their second $10 million gift in eight years.
The new donation, which the museum plans to announce Friday, brings its $350 million campaign to within $90 million of completion.
“I feel a sense of elation,” said museum director David Franklin. “For the Gund family once again to associate themselves with the Cleveland Museum of Art is the best possible thing right now. It’s a crucial moment.”
The museum’s project is scheduled to be finished by late 2013. Completing the fundraising campaign will enable the museum to pay down debt and to resume full spending from its art-purchase endowment.
The museum borrowed $165 million in bonds issued through the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority in 2005 and 2010 to pay for construction while simultaneously conducting its first-ever capital campaign.
It also received permission from the Cuyahoga County Probate Court in 2009 to help pay for construction with up to $75 million in income from four endowment funds originally restricted to the purchase of art, which constitute roughly half of the museum’s $650 million endowment.
The art endowment money has not actually been used, but the commitment to hold it aside has helped to keep interest rates low on the bonds, museum officials have said.
The largest gift announced by the museum so far is $25 million from the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation of Cleveland.
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