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The Year End is Upon Us

While I'm sure, or would like to think so, this is just magnanimous contribution on the part of Jeffrey Loria.

Two monumental sculptures, prized at $2 million each, have been donated to the Miami Art Museum by Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria.

The donation constitutes the largest art gifts to MAM, both in terms of its $4 million value and the size of the pieces -- 16- and 20-feet high respectively.

One sculpture is Femmes Aux Perroquets (women with parakeets) by French artist Fernand Léger (1881-1955), one of the major Cubists. It's a 16- by 11-foot painted bronze relief sculpture from 1951-52.

The other, Red Nana, from 1995, is painted polyester, fiberglass and steel, by a more contemporary French artist, Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002).

According to MAM Communications Coordinator Mitch Snow, Loria expressed hopes to spur on other collectors to consider gifts to the museum. Loria's gifts, Snow said, lay the groundwork for the sculpture garden that will go with MAM's new home in Museum Park, scheduled to open in 2010.

The timing does strangely coincide with the deadline for giving charitable contributions in order to write them off on one's tax return.

There is little doubt that Loria loves art and therefore it could just be a coincidence in the timing of the charitable contribution, but I doubt it.  Even if the contribution was just for tax reasons that doesn't make it any less of a nice addition to the Miami Art Museum.  If in about 3+ years you visit the Museum and you see couple of gargantuan statues in the garden, you will know who donated them.  Though I don't think that knowledge will help you as a contestant on Jeopardy.