PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Barnes Foundation has reached a major fundraising milestone.

The iconic organization now based in Lower Merion has hit its fundraising goal of $200 million to build its new museum on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelhphia.

Standing in front of the constuction site today, foundation executive director Derek Gillman (in photo) said museum membership is at 10,000 — up from only 400 two years ago.

He sees that as vindication of those who won the court fight to move the Barnes collection from Merion.

“I think the achievement and the surpassing of that campaign target is absolutely a thumbs-up for people’s belief in the future and the sustainability of this organization,” he said.

The collection in Merion closes to the public this Sunday.  The new museum is expected to open in about a year, but opponents of the move have another court date in August.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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