MacLaren Art Centre: press release 10 march 2004

Status of Rodin Transaction 
and Financial Situation


• The MacLaren Art Centre was the recipient of a very significant donation of art from IDEAS Foundation, a registered Canadian charitable foundation.

• Funds received from IDEAS were required to be directed toward the purchase of specified art – in particular 510 Auguste Rodin bronzes.

• The majority of the bronzes were to be sold and used to secure the financial future of the MacLaren and fulfill the vision of ArtCity for this community.

• The donation was made possible through a tax advantage investment which was completely legal at the time the donations were made.

• Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) has amended the rules responding to the type of tax advantage system that was used by IDEAS to give donors’ tax receipts.

• CRA has also disallowed the tax benefit on a portion of the donation.

• CRA has no issue with the MacLaren as the recipient of the donation.

• The MacLaren played no part in raising the funds for IDEAS or in organizing the tax advantage structure which was used for the purchase of the bronzes. 

• CRA’s decision to disallow a portion of the tax advantage investment has no bearing on the MacLaren as the intended recipient of the art donation.

• Despite CRA’s decision the MacLaren is entitled to receive all of the art purchased with the IDEAS donation.

• The MacLaren has been negotiating for more than a year to secure delivery of the 510 Rodin bronzes.

• We have ownership documents for all 510 bronzes.

• Our lawyer from Baker MacKenzie, a reputable international law firm, has tried to finalize details on marketing and sales agreements for some time.

• Up until last week our lawyer has been dealing directly with Tom Curry, the Canadian lawyer representing the manufacturer of the bronzes – Gruppo Mondiale.

• Despite our efforts negotiations have not been successful to date because we have been unable to come to a reasonable solution as to how proceeds from the sale of the bronzes will be shared.

• Gruppo Mondiale has received payment for the bronzes – this has been confirmed by CRA.

• There has been no misappropriation of funds and there is no missing money.

• The MacLaren played no role in the distribution of the funds. We were simply the recipient of the donation.

• The MacLaren has not acted inappropriately with regards to this transaction and has always conducted itself according to the guidelines set out by all regulatory bodies.

• We are looking at all possible options to recover the bronzes, which are legally ours.

• The MacLaren is facing financial difficulties because it expected revenue from the Rodin transaction in fiscal 2003.

• Currently there is a deficit of more than $1 million.

• The MacLaren is looking at selling assets that are surplus to its needs, talking to granting agencies and setting more ambitious fundraising goals in order to sustain operations.

• Now more than ever the MacLaren needs the community’s support.


Read the Article by James Adams in the Toronto Globe and Mail of 10 March 2004 

Read the Statement from Mr Rod Burns, President of MacLaren Board of Directors 




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