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Hirshhorn Museum ‘Bubble’ Uncertain As Costs Rise

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Smithsonian’s plan to create an inflatable pavilion bubbling out of the Hirshhorn Museum may be in jeopardy.

Museum Director Richard Koshalek announced the project in 2009. Original estimates that it would cost $5 million have tripled to $15.5 million. Now it won’t be built until 2014, if at all.

Koshalek tells The Washington Post he understands it’s a complex project and that some ideas don’t get built.

Last month Hirshhorn board Chairman J. Tomilson Hill resigned without explanation. In a statement Thursday, he says museums shouldn’t put their core missions in harm’s way by overextending financially in a difficult economy.

Smithsonian Undersecretary Richard Kurin says half the construction costs have been raised. Bloomberg LP donated $1 million in 2010. But the project won’t move forward without full funding.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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