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Smithsonian cancels $15M Hirshhorn Bubble project

Wednesday - 6/5/2013, 1:38pm  ET

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Smithsonian Institution has canceled plans to create an inflatable pavilion bubbling out of the circular Hirshhorn Museum after funding fell short for the $15.5 million project.

The museum complex said Wednesday that the project was halted after four years of planning and fundraising.

The Hirshhorn Bubble was to have been a seasonal venue for performances and arts and cultural programs. It was designed by New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

About $7.8 million had been raised or committed for the project, including more than $1 million from Bloomberg L.P. as a naming gift. Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas says most donations had been pledges so far.

In a statement, Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough said the museum complex faces significant financial challenges and can't pursue the project without needed funding.

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