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News:

Fake Social Media Accounts Deployed in Fight Over Dallas Building Blinding Piano's Nasher

By William Hanley
July 29, 2013

The Dallas Morning News has reported that a consultant working for the owners of the Museum Tower, a 42-story residential building designed by Johnson Fain on the edge of the city's Arts District, has used fake social media accounts to try to sway public opinion about the project. Since its completion last year, the tower’s reflective glass facade has bounced sunlight into the skylit galleries of the Nasher Sculpture Center, a 2003 museum and sculpture garden designed by Renzo Piano, and led to the closing of its James Turrell "skyspace."

Dallas Museum Tower Nasher
Photo via Flickr / user jczart
The Museum Tower by Johnson Fain shown under construction in 2012.
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The situation has sparked a bitter fight over who should act to mitigate the glare. According to the Morning News, the consultant behind the fake accounts, former television news anchor Mike Snyder, used the personas to post comments that sided with the Museum Tower's owners, the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System, on news stories about the controversy.

Read the full story here: Fake social media profiles part of Dallas pension fund’s public relations fight with Nasher

The reports of falsified Facebook accounts are just the latest exchange in a heated public debate. Last month, Maxwell Anderson, the director of the Dallas Museum of Art, and Catherine Cuellar, executive director of the Dallas Arts District Foundation, took the owners of the Museum Tower to task in an op-ed that also appeared in the Morning News.

On behalf of the Arts District, they wrote, "For almost two years…we have watched with growing concern as Museum Tower threatens our neighborhood, spreading misinformation rather than working earnestly toward solving the problems it has created. Glare from the condominium’s highly reflective glass is damaging the Nasher Sculpture Center’s indoor galleries and outdoor garden. In its most recent public relations offensive, Museum Tower claimed the Nasher’s roof can be ‘fixed.’ The Nasher’s roof does not need to be ‘fixed’ because it isn’t broken.”

“The Nasher, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, is an architectural masterpiece, a work of art itself,” they continued. “To suggest that this work be altered, indeed desecrated, is incomprehensible to anyone who truly cares about art. Moreover, this isn’t just the Nasher’s problem—the harsh reflections affect the entire area, as drivers, workers and pedestrians in and around the Arts District can all attest."

Anderson and Cuellar concluded, "On behalf of the professional leadership of the arts organizations in the Dallas Arts District, we urge the mayor and the Dallas City Council to press Museum Tower’s owners to finally take responsibility for the damage their intransigence is doing to our community and fix their building now."

Read the full Op-ed: Maxwell L. Anderson and Catherine Cuellar: Museum Tower is not a good neighbor to Dallas Arts District

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