Letters to the Editor

Neverending subsidy

The Sept. 12 Other Views article PAMM shouldn’t get public funding was a clear and convincing reminder of the moral compact made between the Miami Art Museum (now Pérez Art Museum Miami) and this county’s taxpayers: Give us free land and $100 million for a new museum building and the private sector will pay its own way forever.

Why are we not at all surprised that those same art museum leaders were back begging for millions more in public subsidy?

Back when the museum’s leaders took the public’s $100-million gift, they also committed to raise $125 million in private donations to create an endowment to pay the museum’s bills without ever having to go back to the county for more. Their money-raising has been a dismal failure. Even the biggest donor is based on a 10-year payout of only some $1.5 million a year.

The restaurant is right on the water, and without question, has the best site in Miami and will do well for private parties and lunch time, but the patrons don’t have to pay the museum to go to the restaurant.

This is much like the Arsht Center, which the county will be subsidizing forever, and Jungle Island, which is essentially a banquet hall with parrots. Sadly, the county will be subsidizing PAMM, with no museum quality collection, every year for many years to come.

Martin Margulies, Miami