MOCA, Former Directors Settle Dispute, Will Split Museum Assets

Months of legal dispute between the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the city of North Miami have finally been resolved.

Mediation this week determined that the museum's assets will be split between the city and former board members, who have since founded the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA Miami), closing the lawsuit that was filed earlier this year.

North Miami will keep the majority of the 600-work permanent collection, some of which was donated by board members who left MOCA, according to a statement released Wednesday.

See also: Former MOCA North Miami Board Names Leaders at ICA Miami

North Miami will also keep $1 million in grant funds and the rights to the "MOCA" name and the nonprofit organization Moca Inc. Babacar M'Bow, the director of the new MOCA, will retain his position.

The remaining works will go to ICA Miami, formed by members of the former board, including Alex Gartenfeld, former curator of MOCA and current deputy director of ICA. The board moved out of the MOCA building in North Miami in early August. MOCA and the city of North Miami had been in negotiations over their split since June.

"Museums hold these objects in the public trust," Michael Spring, director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, told the Miami Herald. He is relieved by the resolution. "People donate to museums because they feel it's a safe place to perpetuate the value of these works and to share them with the public."

ICA will make its debut during Art Basel Miami Beach with two free exhibits: Pedro Reyes' installation Sanatorium, and Andra Ursuta's "As I Lay Drying"

MOCA has also been moving forward, with the first exhibition under M'Bow's leadership debuting in September, and its own Art Basel event, which features "Shifting the Paradigm: The Work of George Edozie." The Nigerian artist will will present 50 works making their U.S. debut, including a series of freestanding sculptures constructed from fabric that will form his exhibit's central installation.

Follow Shelly Davidov on Twitter @ShellyDavidov.

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Shelly Davidov