Financial problems that arose in the 1990s have now culminated in the closure of the museum in readiness for its relocation from the suburbs of Philadelphia to a new site in the city centre. This goes against the expressed wishes of the founder and will result in the loss of the carefully-considered "wall ensembles" arranged by Barnes and intended to remain untouched in perpetuity. These losses will be offset by increased accessibility and, hopefully, a secure financial future for the collection.
The Barnes Museum therefore raises lots of important questions, including such issues as the nature of collecting; interpretation and display; continuity and change; the role of museums in society plus the ethical and legal debates that can arise as a result.
The new Barnes Museum is due to open in early 2012 - see http://www.barnesfoundation.org