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MoMA’s opening party interrupted by activists over alleged ties to private prisons

There have been a lot of protests around the art industry this year and some of those protests have continued for a long time as well. One of the most recent ones in memory is of the Whitney Museum earlier this year when Decolonize This Place led a series of protests against the museum’s vice chair, Warren B. Kanders. We know that these protests led to many artists deciding not to show the museum and as a result, Kanders had to resign.

In the case of protests at MoMA, the people had gathered for a toast in order for their results of MoMA’s $450 million expansion and renovation project. However, the party was interrupted briefly with protestors coming in at the museum to protest against the allegations that MoMA is investing in financial services that have stakes in private prisons. The protestors have also urged MoMA to divest in such financial services.

Art Space Sanctuary and the New Sanctuary Coalition are the two activist groups that have urged the museum to divest from these services and held protests this week as well. However, the demands from protestors were focused more on the trustee Larry Fink rather than MoMA.

However, MoMA has denied allegations as per an email statement to ARTnews. The museum has stated that “The Museum of Modern Art does not invest in for-profit private prisons, and Fidelity does not manage our pension plan”. Also, the museum revealed that an “investment committee” is taking care of MoMA’s pension fund.