If you missed Morley Safer‘s friendly profile on tonight’s “60 Minutes” of LA mega-philanthropist (and museum builder) Eli Broad, you can watch it now (below). LA Times art critic Christopher Knight puts in a couple of cameo appearances, asserting that people are “scared to death of the guy,” because “he is the biggest game in town.”
Wait a minute! Did we just hear Eli tell Morley that the cost of The Broad—his planned LA museum for his contemporary art collection—would be MORE THAN $1 BILLION??? (The collection, he told Safer, was worth about $1.6 billion.)
Last we heard, the cost of the new museum, designed by Diller Scofidio+Renfro, was going to “exceed $130 million” for construction, with an additional $200
million for endowment, plus a $7.7 million payment to Community Redevelopment Agency for affordable housing. A revised pricetag of $1 billion would put this 120,000-square-foot project in the same league as the Getty Trust’s sprawling multi-building campus, also in Los Angeles.
If you don’t want to take the time to watch the video (and its Lipitor ad), you can read the transcript here. (The financial bombshell is near the bottom of the first page.)
I’ve got a query in with Broad’s spokesperson to see whether the stated figures are indeed correct, or if someone misspoke.
If I learn more, I’ll update here.
UPDATE—Late Monday afternoon, I heard from Broad’s spokesperson, Karen Denne, who corrected the impression left by the CBS report. Denne told me:
I just checked with Mr. Broad, and he said he meant that the value (not cost) of the entire project would be more than $1 billion. The numbers you have are correct: $7.7 million for the land, $130 million for construction, $200 million for the endowment, and the value of the art at approximately $1.6 billion.
In the on-camera interview, Safer had stood near the site of the museum and asked Broad:
How much is this going to cost [emphasis added]…something approaching a billion dollars?
Broad had replied,