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Judge Extends Pause On Berkshire Museum's Art Sale

A stone building is lit up by lights under an indigo night sky.
Berkshire Museum

An appeals court judge in Boston has extended an injunction halting the sale of art by the Berkshire Museum until the end of January. 

The pause on the sale of 40 art works, including two paintings by Norman Rockwell, to fund an expansion and endowment at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield will continue until January 29th.

That gives State Attorney General Maura Healey more time to conclude her office’s inquiry into the sale. Critics of the sale say it violates the museum’s charter, policies and fiduciary duties.

"“We are pleased that this order will allow us to complete our investigation. In the meantime, we urge the Berkshire Museum to work constructively with us on alternatives to help secure the future of the Museum," AG Spokesperson Emily Snyder said in a statement Wednesday.

The Berkshire Museum contends the delay of the sale puts the institution financially at risk.

"We are disappointed proceedings have been delayed further, preventing this case from being resolved publicly and fairly. These delays benefit no one. It is ironic that, during this holiday season when the Museum is visited and enjoyed by more families than ever, its future is placed in grave jeopardy," Museum attorney Bill Lee says.

Opponents of the sale are calling into question new information also released by the museum lawyers Monday that stipulates auction house Sotheby’s would waive a withdrawal fee if the sale is disputed by the Attorney General. 

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