Museums: Of Gifts and Taxes

It seemed like only a minor clause in the omnibus tax-reform bill passed by the House of Representatives three weeks ago by the lopsided vote of 394 to 30 (TIME, Aug. 15). But it has museum officials from coast to coast up in outraged arms. The clause eliminates the tax-free status of art donated to museums—and thereby strikes at the heart of the way in which U.S. museums have been built. In Europe, the great museums, from the Louvre and the Prado to the Uffizi, house collections that were initially accumulated by kings and princes. Most are still supported...

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