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Powell's Challenge: Earl A. Powell III, former director of the L.A. County Museum of Art, may be facing his first crisis in his new position as director of Washington's National Gallery of Art. The federally funded gallery has a $55.2-million budget for 1993. If the gallery is subject to the 3% across-the-board budget cut decreed by President Clinton, it might be forced to close one day a week, Powell told a congressional subcommittee. Like other federal agencies, the museum can only guess what its 1994 budget will be until the President presents his budget to Congress on April 5. But Powell has speculated that the gallery might have to sustain a cut of up to $3.5 million, or 6.3%.

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