Good-bye Guggenheim

From the LosAngeles Times By Paul Lieberman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer April 19, 2008 click to read more.
 NOW, IT’S GOOD-BYE: Upon arrival, “Guggenheim” was spray-painted in huge letters at the front of the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum at the entrance to the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.     The museum, housed in the Venetian hotel-resort, looked to attract families and cultural tourists along with gamblers. After a seven-year run, it’s leaving town.     LOS VEGAS — — Dustin and Lindsay Phillips had no idea they were part of the beginning of the end of the Guggenheim’s great Las Vegas adventure, a seven-year gamble that is coming to a close with the museum taking its chips — its paintings — back home.     The Nashville couple hadn’t even known there was a Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in the Venetian. They’d come to town “just for Las Vegas,” spotted the Guggenheim’s entrance around the corner from the hotel-casino’s check-in desk, then wandered in. “It’s awesome to see the real thing,” said Dustin, 26, as he stood before a Monet landscape painted in 1908 in the real Venice, with the real canals. “I was surprised they didn’t charge admission,” his wife added.     She had to be told the reason: The Guggenheim and the Venetian had just announced that the contract to operate the “museum” — actually four linked galleries — was coming to an end, and as a thank-you to the public the $15 fee was being waived through the last day, May 11. “It was a mutual decision,” a Guggenheim spokeswoman said of the closing.


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