Eli Broad says Yaroslavsky website is wrong; no decision yet on museum’s destination

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The continuing saga of the very public path Eli Broad’s museum is taking from idea to reality added a new chapter on Wednesday.

The latest development has to do with the unexpected outcome of one of Broad’s news interviews -- this time, with Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky’s website.


The billionaire philanthropist and the operation sponsored by Yaroslavsky disagree over whether it accurately quoted Broad as saying that the museum to house the 2,000-plus artworks he and his wife Edythe have collected is ‘absolutely’ going to be built in downtown L.A.

Under the headline, ‘Broad museum headed downtown,’ Yaroslavsky’s Web writer for arts and culture coverage, former Los Angeles Times editor Lennie LaGuire, quoted Broad saying ‘Absolutely it’s coming to this site,’ meaning the spot at Grand Avenue and 2nd Street that the supervisors unanimously OK’d at their Tuesday meeting.

But on Wednesday, Broad’s spokeswoman, Karen Denne, denied that her boss had said those words during the interview with LaGuire, which took place in a lobby outside the supervisors’ meeting room right after their vote. Denne said that Broad will not say until Monday, after the Grand Avenue Authority casts the final vote on the proposal, whether he’ll build the museum downtown or at a site offered by the City of Santa Monica.

‘I was with Mr. Broad when he was talking to Lennie and did not hear him say that. He also says he did not say that, and I’ve asked her to take down the quote because it’s inaccurate,’ Denne said by e-mail. She reiterated what she had told The Times minutes after the vote. ‘We are still considering two locations and will not make a decision until after Monday’s...meeting.’

In an update to its story today, the Yaroslavsky website notes that although Denne and the Broad Foundation have disputed its story, ‘The supervisor’s website stands behind its report,’ which ‘is documented in the writer’s notes from her interview.’

The Times had previously reported that although Broad has not publicly picked a site, he has seemed to favor the downtown L.A. parcel, where he thinks the museum will draw more visitor than it would in Santa Monica, while also contributing to the downtown revival he has long championed.

-- Mike Boehm

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