The Nation: It Is Not Always Better to Give

One would think that a philanthropist deserved the right to give his money, then sit back and take some small satisfaction in the pleasure it provides others. Or, if he prefers, just forget about it. Not in New York City. Millionaire George T. Delacorte (Dell Publishing Co.) financed an Alice in Wonderland sculpture for Central Park, then watched vandals assault it. He spent thousands on the mechanical animals that twirl in the park's zoo clock tower—and then much more on crews to repair the almost weekly breakdown of the machinery.

Delacorte's latest project, a $350,000 fountain that draws water from the East...

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