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Westside : City Rejects Art Gift, Scraps Plan for Museum

An art museum is not in the cards after all for Culver City, whose officials had been considering the possibility for more than a year.

Building the museum was the condition of an offer from Los Angeles art dealer Gene Mako, who was willing to donate 800 paintings to the city as long as there was a place to house the works. Mako further requested that Culver City devote a portion of the display within its museum to paintings by his father, Bartholomew Mako.

The elder Mako was a Hungarian immigrant best known in Los Angeles for producing artwork for public places, including St. Sophia’s Church.

City officials had considered renovating the vacant Culver Theater, but decided after a confidential appraisal that accepting Mako’s art in exchange for the museum would not be worth the expense.

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