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Marcel Broodthaers's Museum of Modern Art, Department of Eagles was a conceptual museum created in Brussels in 1968. It had neither permanent collection nor permanent location, and manifested itself in "sections" appearing at various locations between 1968 and 1971. These sections typically consisted of reproductions of works of art, fine-art crates, wall inscriptions, and film elements. In 1970, Broodthaers conceived of the Financial Section, which encompassed an attempt to sell the museum "on account of bankruptcy." The sale was announced on the cover of the Cologne Art Fair catalogue in 1971, but no buyers were found. As part of the Financial Section, Broodthaers also produced an unlimited edition of gold ingots stamped with the museum's emblem, an eagle, a symbol associated with power and victory. The ingots were sold to raise money for the museum, at a price calculated by doubling the market value of gold, the surcharge representing the bar's value as art. Broodthaers's museum represents a pioneering effort to dispute traditional museum practices by appropriating and altering them.
Museum of Modern Art, Dept of Eagles  
Marcel Broodthaers.
Musée d'Art Moderne, Département des Aigles, Section Financière (Museum of Modern Art, Department of Eagles, Financial Section). 1970-1971.

Gold bar stamped with an eagle. Courtesy Galerie Beaumont, Luxembourg. Photo: J. Romero, courtesy Maria Gilissen

  ©1999 The Museum of Modern Art, New York MoMA