Governor Bredesen Against Sale Of O'Keeffe Collection To Ark. Museum

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Governor Bredesen thinks Fisk University has entered into a bad deal by agreeing to sell half its ownership of an art collection donated by Georgia O'Keeffe for $30 million.

The cash-strapped Nashville university has asked a Nashville judge to approve the arrangement to sell a 50 percent stake in the 101-piece collection to an Arkansas museum founded by Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton. The collection would be shared on an equal-time basis.

A trial is scheduled for February to decide whether Fisk's agreement to share the collection with the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, is close enough to O'Keeffe's wishes to be approved. O'Keeffe died in 1986.

Bredesen said estimates from art experts and insurers indicate the collection could easily be worth $150 million.

So, he said $30 million for half of it is not a very good deal.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)