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Met loan hangs on art collateral

March 03, 2009|Associated Press

The Metropolitan Opera is using two giant Marc Chagall murals in its lobby as collateral on an existing loan, the latest example of how the nation's top fine arts institutions are struggling to cope with the economic downturn.

Met spokesman Peter Clark said Monday that the nation's premier opera house was using the 30- by 36-foot paintings as collateral for "a long-standing loan." He declined to specify the loan amount or the appraised value of the works, "The Triumph of Music" and "The Sources of Music."

The paintings will remain in the lobby unless the Met defaults on the loan.

The Met is dropping some planned revivals from its 2009-10 season and substituting less costly productions. It is also slashing senior staff members' salaries by 10% to stay within its $291 million annual budget.

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