Art Suffers Weather Damage At Fresno Art Museum

FRESNO, Calif. Large, brown leak stains on the ceiling are now overshadowing art work at Fresno's Art Museum. Buckets sit under the stains just in case it rains again. The ceiling panel fell to the ground after last week's wet weather.

Eva Torres is the museum's interim executive director. Water got dangerously close to these sculptures that are hundreds of years old. Two large works of art were also damaged. Torres said, "It does make us liable to that artist and so that artist will probably file a claim against us and we will have to go to the city. Its something we made the city aware of."

The City of Fresno owns the building and is supposed to maintain it, but the roof has gone unrepaired. Tax payers could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix the problem. City leaders are already dealing with downtown's Fresno Metropolitan Museum. It is likely to close in January because they can't pay their bills.

City Council President Cynthia Sterling says- despite both The Met and Fresno Art Museum facing cash problems, there's no talk of combining the two, "Each entity is different and has different circumstances in how it got there today. So I believe we need to face the challenges individually."

The art museum's current challenges are spreading. Water is building up on doors. Plastic covers the electricity panel to protect it from moisture. Within all the mess, art stills hangs exposed to the elements.

Thursday afternoon, the executive director will hold a meeting at the museum and announce their midyear budget deficit. She says the recent roof problems will only add to a dire financial situation.

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